Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, Imran Khan, has been set to face trial in a military court, as Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah announced. This is due to Khan’s purported involvement in the May 9 arson attacks.
In a conversation with a private news broadcaster, Sanaullah accused Imran Khan of being the architect behind the attacks on military establishments. He claimed to have substantial evidence backing these allegations, notably Khan’s tweets and messages, which he declared as proof.
The arson attacks erupted following Khan’s arrest on May 9 by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) concerning the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case. These events led to violent protests nationwide, resulting in attacks on military installations and damage to public and private properties.
In a subsequent TV interview, Sanaullah reiterated his accusations, asserting that Khan’s targeting of military installations warrants a military court trial. He accused the former Prime Minister of being the mastermind behind these attacks, allegedly carried out by PTI activists who Khan incited.
The Interior Minister further declared that the assailants, irrespective of their affiliation with PTI, would face severe penalties. At the same time, other leaders who have severed ties with PTI and denounced the attacks might be granted some leniency.
Sanaullah identified two categories of individuals implicated in the attacks: the motivators and the executors. He placed Imran Khan squarely in the former category, portraying him as the primary instigator of the arson attacks. He even implicated Khan’s spouse, Bushra Khan, as one of the motivators.
Addressing the conditions of female PTI leaders in custody, Sanaullah assured that they would be treated appropriately and would not endure any ill-treatment.
Discussing the possibility of Khan’s pre-election arrest of the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case and the May 9 arson attacks, Sanaullah suggested that a conviction could disqualify the PTI leader.
When questioned about the government’s measures to avert the attacks, Sanaullah claimed that law enforcement could have been effective if given complete authority. Still, the government did not authorize this due to concerns about potential violence and the political advantage it might provide Khan.
Regarding the military trials, the Interior Minister stated that a thorough investigation into the accused’s roles in the attacks would precede the trials. He expressed concern over some individuals stealing sensitive documents from the Corps Commander’s House.
Sanaullah revealed no decision regarding the indictment of PTI leaders Dr. Yasmin Rashid and Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed.