PESHAWAR: Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif conducted a comprehensive assessment of the law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday, vowing that those responsible for the attacks on civil and defense installations on May 9 would be prosecuted under anti-terrorism laws.
During separate meetings with the governor and other senior provincial officials, the prime minister received detailed briefings on the state of militancy and overall law enforcement in the province. Updates were provided regarding recent militant attacks specifically targeting the police and law enforcement agencies.
The PM also received information about the response of the KP police force. However, no specific plans for future actions were discussed during the meeting.
In his meeting with Governor Ghulam Ali, PM Shehbaz was briefed on the overall situation in KP, including the tribal districts and the province’s finances.
During a high-level meeting at the Governor House, PM expressed that the nation would not forgive those who attacked civil and defense installations on May 9 and 10 if they escaped justice. He emphasized that the perpetrators of the riots and their planners would be tried under the relevant sections of the anti-terrorism act.
The PM explained that the meeting, originally scheduled shortly after May 9, had been delayed due to unavoidable commitments. However, he held a Zoom meeting with the provincial governor and chief minister, who provided updates on the damages and losses caused by the rioters.
PM Shehbaz expressed regret that individuals claiming to be patriotic were involved in acts of vandalism that caused unprecedented damage in the country’s 75-year history. However, he stressed the importance of ensuring that no innocent person would suffer injustice during the legal process.
The federal and KP governments also decided to expedite efforts to hold the top leadership of the PTI accountable for their alleged role in inciting violence on May 9. Information sharing was a key focus, aiming to prevent any escape of PTI leaders.
Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997
Evidence, including phone call records, implicated the top provincial PTI leadership in inciting protesters to gather at the KP Governor House. Those involved in attacking military installations would face trial in military courts. Moreover, those responsible for damaging civilian infrastructure would be prosecuted under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997.
The prime minister visited the Radio Pakistan building, severely damaged during the May 10 riots. He expressed dismay at the destruction of a historical site where Pakistan’s independence announcement was once broadcasted. Efforts were directed to restore the premises and provide resources for rehabilitation.
Moreover, the prime minister reaffirmed his commitment to preventing the recurrence of such incidents. He stressed the need for a fair legal process to hold the perpetrators accountable. The prime minister’s visit to Radio Pakistan highlighted the importance of preserving national heritage and denouncing acts of violence.
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