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May 9 mob violence will be a 'Dark Day' in Pak history; incidents 'severely tarnished' country's image: Ruling coalition

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Islamabad, May 8 (PTI) Pakistan's ruling coalition on Wednesday said that May 9, 2023, will always be remembered as a "Dark Day" in Pakistan’s history after supporters of ex-prime minister Imran Khan's party vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Army headquarters, incidents that "severely tarnished" the country’s image.

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On May 9, last year, Khan’s party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Jinnah House (Lahore Corps Commander House), Mianwali Airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad after the cricketer-turned-politician was arrested in a corruption case. The Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi was also attacked by the mob for the first time.

On Wednesday, the ruling coalition-- the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party separately announced that the day would be remembered as a "Dark Day" in the country's history.

In a statement issued by the PPP, the President of the country and the supremo of the party Asif Ali Zardari said that the incidents on May 9th, 2023 were an attempt to challenge the writ of the state, undermine the rule of law and weaken the institutions.

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"May 9th 2023 will always be remembered as a Dark Day in Pakistan’s history when a politically instigated mob ran amok across the country, damaging public property and military installations. The unfortunate incidents severely tarnished the country’s image, which only served the interests of Pakistan’s enemies," the statement quoted Zardari as saying.

Affirming that any attempt to misuse these rights to incite violence would never be tolerated, Zardari, 68, said: "We have never seen such vandalism in responsible democracies, with violent mobs wreaking havoc on state properties for political gains. We have never seen such vandalism in responsible democracies, with violent mobs wreaking havoc on state properties for political gains”.

He expressed pride in Pakistan’s Armed Forces and its institutions, which had been a vanguard in defending the nation against various threats and emphasised that those responsible for the May 9 violence should be held accountable according to the law.

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“The current political situation demands that all political parties work towards promoting tolerance, democratic values, and political dialogue, and provide a clear direction to the nation,” he said.

PML-N leader and Pakistan's Information Minister Attaullah Tarar also said that May 9 will be remembered as Black Day in the history of Pakistan and called the incident a conspiracy hatched by a chaos-prone political gang, Radio Pakistan reported.

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, he said May 9 will be remembered as a black day in the history of Pakistan when a chaos-prone political gang hatched a conspiracy and attacked Pakistan’s integrity, security, and development.

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He said irrefutable evidence is available against the perpetrators involved in the May 9 incidents and the courts should expedite cases against them.

"These elements even did not hesitate in desecrating martyrs’ monuments and targeting state institutions and buildings of national pride including the Jinnah House, Lahore," he said.

Tarar also urged the youth to be aware of the elements, which are hell-bent on creating uncertainty and chaos to hinder Pakistan’s development and progress.

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He assured that all possible measures would be taken to avoid desecration of martyrs’ monuments.

Attaullah Tarar informed that a special meeting of the Federal Cabinet has been convened tomorrow, which will be addressed by the Prime Minister.

Following the May 9 violence last year, Khan and hundreds of his party colleagues are being tried under multiple cases, including one under the stringent Official Secrets Act in connection with the violent protests. PTI RUP AKJ RUP

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