5/16/2023 – | Last updated: 16/5/2023 06:19 PM (Mecca time)
A meeting of the National Security Committee in Pakistan ended on Tuesday evening to discuss the political crisis in the country after the army vowed to prosecute those it described as involved in "heinous crimes" against military facilities and individuals, during riots that erupted following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan last week.
The meeting of the National Security Committee – which is the highest body concerned with making decisions related to national security in the country – comes one day after a meeting of army leaders, during which they pledged to prosecute all those involved in what they called the riots that occurred after the arrest of the opposition leader Imran Khan, and to bring them to military courts.
The army said, in a statement after a meeting of its leadership, that it would not exercise restraint towards those it called the perpetrators, spoilers and violators under any circumstances. The army also denounced what it described as a propaganda war supported from abroad and facilitated internally, which was launched against the army leadership.
Al-Jazeera correspondent in Islamabad, Samir Al-Nimri, stated that after the end of the meeting today, Tuesday, in which the army chief and the ministers of interior and defense participated, Prime Minister Shehbar Sharif addressed a letter to the Pakistani people, in which he said that what happened on the ninth of this month, that is, after the arrest of Imran Khan, is Shame on Pakistan.
Confrontations and arrests
The arrest of Imran Khan on the ninth of this month sparked violent confrontations in several Pakistani cities between his supporters and the security forces. Several official departments were set on fire, roads were blocked and army facilities were destroyed, and the house of a senior army official was looted.
These events prompted the army to deploy in several cities, and the police in Punjab, the most populous province in the country, said that they had arrested more than 2,800 people, while 152 policemen were wounded and 74 police cars were set on fire, and 22 government buildings were damaged, including centers. and police offices.
At least 8 have been killed in the violence in the past few days.
The army's statement comes days after the release of former Prime Minister Imran Khan by the Islamabad High Court.
For his part, Imran Khan said that he has evidence that he will present in any independent investigation, proving that the acts of arson and shooting in some places were carried out by what he called men and agencies who wanted to cause chaos to justify the ongoing repressive campaign against him.
Khan and the judiciary
Imran Khan appeared again today, Tuesday, before the Lahore High Court, where he faces charges of responsibility for acts of violence and confrontations that occurred after his arrest.
On Monday, two parties from the ruling coalition in Pakistan organized a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in the capital, Islamabad, to protest against what they described as the preferential judicial treatment of Imran Khan. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of the country's chief justice.
And the court decided a few days ago not to arrest Imran Khan again before yesterday's session, Monday, whether in the other ten cases in which he is being prosecuted, or in the case of acts of violence committed by his supporters.