ISLAMABAD: Prime Minster Shehbaz Sharif is addressing a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) in connection with the recent attacks on the military installations after the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
“Those who planned, executed and abetted the vandalism on May 9 certainly committed an act of terrorism,” the premier said.
The prime minister convened the NSC meeting— the apex national body that oversees security matters — to review the law and order situation in the country.
Besides other high officials, the top military brass is among the attendees of the meeting.
The session will also be given a briefing on the May 9 violent protests that erupted after the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan in a corruption case also involving a property tycoon.
The former prime minister has been accused of £190 million in corruption in the Al-Qadir Trust case.
He was taken into custody by the paramilitary troops from the Islamabad High Court (IHC) premises, sparking protests across Pakistan by the enraged PTI supporters.
They stormed military establishments, set ablaze a Radio Pakistan building in Peshawar, smashed buses, ransacked Corps Commander House in Lahore and attacked other assets, resulting in the army being deployed in multiple cities.
More than 3,000 arrests were made, while 152 police officers were injured, 74 police vehicles vandalised and set on fire, and 22 government buildings, including police stations and offices, were damaged, according to Punjab police.
At least eight people were killed in the violence, a spasm of unrest in a country that is facing an economic crisis, with record inflation, anaemic growth and delayed IMF funding.
The army has taken strict notice of the ransacking of its assets and vowed to bring all those involved in May 9 violence to justice.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif gave authorities 72 hours to identify and arrest all those involved in violent acts.
The premier said the cases would be tried by anti-terrorism courts.
“All available resources including technological aid and intelligence are being deployed to chase down these elements. Bringing these people to justice is a test case for the government,” said the prime minister.
More to follow…