Washington [US], June 14 (TN): US is aware of the reports regarding civilians who will face military trials over their suspected involvement in the protest in Pakistan on May 9, US Department of State spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Tuesday (local time). He said that the US continues to urge Pakistani authorities to respect democratic principles and the rule of law for all the people as enshrined in the constitution.
Responding to a query regarding the situation in Pakistan, where 5,000 people including politicians are in prison and supreme court orders are being flouted, Matthew Miller said, “We are aware of the reports concerning civilians who will face military trials for their suspected involvement in the May 9th protest.”
He further said, “We continue, as we have in the past, to urge Pakistani authorities to respect democratic principles and the rule of law for all people as enshrined in the country’s constitution. And we regularly discuss human rights, democracy, safety, and the protection of journalists and respect for the rule of law with Pakistani officials at the highest levels. That remains a priority for the United States.”
Earlier on June 12, the Pakistan National Assembly passed a resolution calling for swift action against the May 9 rioters under the Army Act, reported The Express Tribune. Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif submitted the resolution, which demanded that the culprits of the May 9 events be prosecuted under the Army Act while respecting human rights.
The text of the resolution said that on May 9, a gang and its leaders broke all boundaries by conducting attacks on military installations, causing irreparable damage to state institutions and the country. As a result, the resolution urged that all such elements be dealt with in accordance with the law and the Constitution, The Express Tribune reported.
According to the resolution, no violations of human rights occurred during the action taken against the miscreants and criminals. The resolution also said that the military has the authority to respond to attacks on military installations around the world and that all people implicated should be punished for their conduct under the Pakistan Army Act of 1952.
Khawaja Asif said that instances that are intended to be heard under Article 16 of the Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) will be handled appropriately. Those who targeted fighter jets and attacked the Bala Hisar Fort, on the other hand, will face charges under the Army Act.
On May 9, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairman Imran Khan was arrested at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case. After his arrest, protests erupted in Pakistan and military installations including the Lahore corps commander’s residence and state properties were damaged in Pakistan. The Pakistan army had called the day a “dark chapter” in the country’s history and vowed to bring to justice all those involved in the vandalism. (TN)