The harshest punishment should be dealt out to the arsonists. There was never ever a chance of the Army going mellow on this one. The first example set is from within their own ranks.
ISPR Director General (DG) Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif in his address said recently that three army officers, including a lieutenant general, were sacked from their jobs as a part of the military’s “self-accountability process” into the events of May 9. “Three officers, including a lieutenant-general, have been removed from their jobs. Strict disciplinary proceedings against officers, including three major generals and seven brigadiers, have been completed,” he added. (Dawn News June 26, 2023) This is the tip of the iceberg.
The message is loud & clear. No one involved will be spared.
The action has been instituted against the people involved in violent protests on May 9th this year. Whether they were instigated by slogans of the PTI leaders that “Imran Khan is our red line” and “We will take “Haqeeqi Azadi” from your “father” – does not exonerate the arsonists at any cost. Neither will the “mastermind(s)” be spared.
Under the Army Act, civilians can be tried by the Military Tribunal. This enactment is legal. The question here is: in which situations can the civilians be tried under the Army Act? First, when any civilian engages himself or herself in treason, attacks on military personnel or property or espionage.
It is important to understand here, what High Treason Act 1973 is:
- Punishment for high treason, etc. A person who is found guilty—
(a) of having committed an act of abrogation or subversion of a constitution in force in
Pakistan at any time since the twenty third day of March, 1956, or
(b) of high treason as defined in Article 6 of the Constitution, shall be punishable with death or imprisonment for life.
- Procedure. No court shall take cognizance of an offence punishable under this Act except upon a complaint in writing made by a person authorized by the Federal Government in this behalf.
My innocent question is: why then, the court has initiated hearing petitions to stay civilians’ cases by the Military Tribunals?
Second situation is when Pakistan is faced with a threat to national security & a declaration of emergency.
The Crackdown is here. No one will be spared. Those holding their breath over it need to understand the game is over. Playing on both side of the wicket is not admissible!
Disclaimer: The Crackdown! - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view