The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG), Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif, announced on Monday that the Pakistani military has initiated a “self-accountability process” in response to the events of May 9. The DG ISPR revealed that three army officers, including a lieutenant general, have been dismissed from their positions as a result of this process. In a press conference, Maj-Gen Sharif condemned the incident and emphasized its significance in Pakistan’s history.
Unveiling the Facts of May 9
During the media briefing, Maj-Gen Sharif described the events of May 9 as deeply disappointing and a dark chapter in the nation’s history. He stated that the incident demonstrated how a group of miscreants and their facilitators were able to accomplish what the country’s enemies could not achieve in 76 years. The DG ISPR emphasized that the events were undoubtedly a conspiracy against Pakistan and highlighted the months-long planning that preceded the incident.
Conducive Environment and Spread of False Narratives
Maj-Gen Sharif outlined the process that unfolded prior to the events of May 9. He explained that a conducive environment was created to instigate and provoke the public against the army. Additionally, false narratives and exaggerated information were spread on social media platforms both within and outside the country. The DG ISPR assured that the authorities had gathered substantial evidence in relation to these activities.
Grief and Anger Among the Families of Martyrs
Expressing the sentiments of the families of martyrs and veterans, Maj-Gen Sharif expressed his deep concern and sorrow over the events of May 9. He emphasized that the Pakistan Army was regularly laying martyrs to rest while engaged in ongoing operations against terrorists. The DG ISPR lamented the fact that while sacrifices were being made by the army, false propaganda based on a fabricated narrative was being spread for political gain. He questioned whether the honor of the martyred soldiers would be protected from such miscreants.
The Importance of Army-Citizen Relationship
Stressing the significance of a strong relationship between the army and the citizens, Maj-Gen Sharif highlighted that stability in any country relied on this bond. He reiterated that attempts by the enemy to undermine the trust and respect shared between the army and the people had been unsuccessful. The DG ISPR attributed this to the armed forces’ dedication to safeguarding the nation and its people. He emphasized that the armed forces represented all schools of thought and were not aligned with any particular elite group.
Completion of the Self-Accountability Process
Maj-Gen Sharif announced that the military had successfully concluded its self-accountability process. He revealed that two comprehensive inquiries, led by major generals, were conducted into the violent events that occurred on May 9 at army garrisons. Based on these inquiries and considering the requests of in-court investigations, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against those responsible for the security and honor breaches at various military installations. As a result, three officers, including a lieutenant-general, were relieved of their duties. Strict disciplinary actions were also taken against three major generals and seven brigadiers. The DG ISPR emphasized that accountability within the Pakistan Army was impartial and not influenced by rank or social status.
Trials Under the Army Act
Addressing the trials under the Army Act, Maj-Gen Sharif informed that 17 standing military courts were operational, currently handling the cases of 102 individuals involved in the incidents. The DG ISPR assured that the suspects being tried in these courts had full legal rights, including the right to appeal in higher courts. He further stated that the penalties would be commensurate with the crimes committed. Maj-Gen Sharif reiterated the army’s commitment to upholding the sanctity of the Constitution and punishing all planners and facilitators of the May 9 incident, regardless of their political affiliation or social standing.
Identifying the Masterminds Behind May 9
When asked about identifying and punishing the masterminds behind the events of May 9, the DG ISPR revealed that the planners and masterminds were individuals who had been misleading the public for several months against the army and its leadership. Maj-Gen Sharif explained that the objective of the incident was to incite people to attack military installations and provoke an immediate response from the army. He emphasized the importance of exposing these individuals and bringing them to justice to prevent similar incidents in the future.
Addressing Allegations of Human Rights Violations
In response to allegations of human rights violations against those in custody, Maj-Gen Sharif dismissed them as part of a narrative built on fake videos and photos circulated on social media. He stated that such narratives were often propagated by external elements, including certain individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who received financial incentives to make false claims against Pakistan. The DG ISPR assured that the government had briefed foreign media and consulates to counter these tactics. He called for responsible journalism to combat propaganda and discouraged the spread of fake news and sensationalism.
Intelligence Operations and Counterterrorism Efforts
Despite the planned attack on the Pakistan Army, Maj-Gen Sharif highlighted the extensive intelligence operations conducted by security forces throughout the year. He shared that 13,619 intelligence operations had taken place, resulting in the elimination or arrest of 1,172 terrorists. He acknowledged the sacrifices made by the soldiers, with 95 martyrs in these operations. The DG ISPR reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue the fight against terrorism until all terrorists were eradicated.
Respect for Political Parties and Economic Stability
Responding to questions regarding flexibility in talks with the Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Maj-Gen Sharif stated that all genuine political parties were respected by the military. He referred to a press release issued on May 15, where the army expressed its desire for political stakeholders to engage in dialogue and create a national consensus. The DG ISPR emphasized the army’s support for such processes and the strengthening of democratic values in Pakistan. He acknowledged that politicians leaving or staying in a party was a personal matter.
Defense Budget and Operational Preparedness
Regarding the country’s economic situation, DG Sharif clarified that the defense budget had been reduced in accordance with the overall state of the economy. He stressed that the armed forces considered themselves an integral part of the country and its economy, actively participating in collective efforts. Despite economic constraints, the military focused on self-reliance and tightening its belt to meet operational requirements. Maj-Gen Sharif assured that Pakistan Army’s operational preparedness was not compromised and highlighted the successful fight against terrorism over the years.
In conclusion, the Pakistani military has taken decisive action against the officers involved in the May 9 incident as part of its self-accountability process. The DG ISPR emphasized the importance of exposing and punishing those responsible for misleading the public and attacking military installations. He assured that accountability within the army was impartial and that the armed forces remained committed to protecting the nation’s honor and stability. The DG ISPR also addressed concerns regarding human rights violations, intelligence operations, political dialogue, and the country’s defense budget, emphasizing the collective efforts to overcome challenges and maintain operational preparedness.