On May 14, 2023, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party called for a protest following the release of its leader, Imran Khan, on bail. However, the authorities are yet to release the full details of a high-level probe involving close to a dozen intelligence agencies that uncovered a plan allegedly approved by Khan to storm military buildings, bases, and officer houses after his expected arrest. The plan was reportedly based on ignoring court hearings in corruption cases that would naturally result in arrest, which would then be used to divert national attention against the military, which has refused to help Khan become PM as it did in 2018.
The plot links key aides of Imran Khan in his PTI party to planning attacks on military installations, which could emerge as the first plan of its kind to engage the Pakistan Army in a civil war-type conflict by a political party. A look at the list of military and government buildings selectively targeted by PTI mobs under instructions from Khan and senior party officeholders shows a pre-planned attack. The list includes the ECP office in Peshawar and Lahore, Radio Pakistan Peshawar, Core Commander house in Lahore, Askari Towers Lahore, GHQ Rawalpindi, FC barracks Mardan, FC Fort Chakdara, FC school Dir, Military barracks Mardan, PAF martyrs monument Sargodha, PAF base Mianwali, PMLN office Lahore, PM’s private residence Lahore, Kalma Chowk Lahore, Audi showroom Lahore, Metro station Rawalpindi, Motorway Interchange Swat, Services hospital Lahore, SP office Industrial area Islamabad, and the livestock market Chargano Chowk Peshawar.
Despite these allegations, PTI should still not be banned. The party represents a significant number of Pakistani citizens and has the right to express its views and concerns through peaceful protests and demonstrations. Moreover, banning PTI could further polarize the country and lead to more violence. Instead, the authorities should conduct a transparent and fair investigation into the alleged plan and take appropriate legal action against those found guilty. It is also essential to ensure that the military and government buildings are adequately secured to prevent any future attacks.
In addition, the reports of a mutiny within the army should be investigated thoroughly, and appropriate action should be taken to maintain the discipline and unity of the armed forces. The stability and security of Pakistan depend on the army’s ability to carry out its duties professionally and impartially. Not entirely true but the names are being taken.
List of Military Officers Who Refused to Obey “Unlawful” Orders:
- Lt Col Imtiaz, CO 21 Punjab
- Lt Col Amir, CO 4FF
- Major Haider Ali
- Major Syed Ali Hussain Gillani, Punjab Rangers
- Maj Raja Sher Ali
- Major Ali Kamran Abidi
- Brig Hussain Ali
Additionally, the following Generals were involved in the movement:
- Gen Salman, 4 Corps
- Gen Hassan, 11 Corps
- Gen Asif, 12 Corps
- Gen Salahuddin, IG FC KPK
All of these officers and generals refused to obey the unlawful orders to open fire on the citizens during the protests in Pakistan. Their actions demonstrate their commitment to upholding the law and protecting the rights of the people. It is important to recognize and commend the bravery of these individuals who stood up for what was right, even in the face of potential consequences. But what about their discipline to follow the command? That is debatable.
Danger of Martial Law Imposition Looms Amidst Modern Crises
They had been asking for General Elections. The compliance issue with the recent Supreme Court judgment on election expenses has become a matter of concern in Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan’s Acting Governor has stated that while the funds for the elections have been allocated, they have not yet been transferred. The Finance Ministry is now seeking approval from the federal government for the release of the funds. The Law Minister has affirmed that the government will honor the Supreme Court judgment, but instead of seeking ex-post facto approval, the matter will be referred to the National Assembly for its approval. However, there are concerns that the National Assembly may reject the demand for a grant for elections by the evening of the same day.
According to the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 (Article 80-83), election expenses have already been deemed approved by Consolidated Funds, and therefore there is no legal requirement to get prior approval for spending. It is considered a charged expenditure, and no approval from the National Assembly or any sub-committee is necessary; only the government’s will is required.
It’s important to have a strong leadership structure in any political party, and Imran Khan’s dismissal given allegations against him are turned into charges that are fixed could certainly have an impact on his party. He has been urging that if he is put behind bars, he can not control the furious crowd.
From what he is saying, it sounds like there may be a lack of viable successors within the party, which could leave it struggling to stay afloat. Additionally, if Khan’s leadership style is more autocratic, that could make it difficult for other members to step up and take on more responsibility. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the coming months.
In conclusion, while the alleged plan to storm military buildings is a serious matter that needs to be addressed, banning PTI is not the solution. The authorities should instead focus on upholding the rule of law, protecting the citizens’ rights to peaceful protest, and ensuring the security and stability of the country.