Supporters of former Prime Minister Imran Khan clash with security forces after violent protests broke out across the country following arrest of Imran Khan, former PM and head of opposition party Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, in Lahore, Punjab province, Pakistan, 10 May 2023. EFE/EPA/FILE/RAHAT DAR

Pakistan army fires 3 senior officers for failing to protect military installations

Islamabad, June 26 (EFE).- The Pakistan Army on Monday said that three officers, including a lieutenant general, had been sacked and disciplinary action had been initiated against 15 other officers as part of its “self-accountability process” into the May riots in which military properties were attacked by protesters.

Following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan on May 9, violent protests erupted in the country by his supporters, who the military claims ransacked its buildings and installations.

Khan, who was in jail at the time of the protests, has also been named in the cases registered under sedition and terrorism laws.

The former premier has refuted the allegations, and requested an impartial investigation into the violent incidents, which he claims were orchestrated to put him in jail to stop him from running for the upcoming elections in October.

Addressing a press conference on Monday, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the media wing of the army -, Ahmed Sharif, said the rioters and their instigators would not be spared.

He disclosed that the army had completed its process of “self-accountability,” adding that two comprehensive inquiries were conducted into violent events.

After a deliberate accountability process, keeping the requests of court of inquiries in view, disciplinary proceedings were initiated against those who failed to keep the security and sanctity of garrisons, and military installations including the General Headquarters intact, said the Sharif.

“Three officers, including a lieutenant-general, have been removed from their jobs,” Sharif said, adding that “strict disciplinary proceedings against 15 officers, including three major generals and seven brigadiers, have been completed.”

The ISPR chief said that these penalties showed that accountability in the army was carried out without discrimination, irrespective of rank or social status.

“No rank or social position has been taken into consideration while doing this process of self-accountability,” the army’s spokesperson stressed.

The army has announced that those who were involved in the attacks on military installations are to be tried under military courts, a decision widely criticized by rights groups over the lack of transparency in such trials.

The army spokesperson, giving an emotional speech during the presser, said that the “trial of 102 miscreants is underway and this process will continue” in the military courts.

Moreover, speaking on the targeted military operations in different parts of the country, Sharif said that the security forces have conducted 13,619 intelligence operations this year so far in which 1,172 “terrorists” were killed or arrested.

“On a daily basis, over 77 operations are being carried out by the armed forces, police, intelligence agencies and other law enforcement agencies to rid of the menace of terrorism,” he said.

The ISPR spokesperson further stated that 95 soldiers were also killed during these operations. EFE