Pak defence minister says Imran Khan likely to be tried in military court.
The former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan
may be prosecuted in a military court for his suspected participation in the May 9 events in which members of his party reportedly assaulted military and governmental installations according to a report in the media on Sunday.
Khan, 70, could stand trial in a military court if evidence of his involvement in the May 9 violence surfaced in the coming days, Asif was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune newspaper.
He also confirmed that no case had been registered against the Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf chief so far in connection with the May 9 attacks. Definitely, there are chances that Imran Khan can be tried in a military court the minister said while responding to a question if the deposed premier could be prosecuted under the Army Act.
His words come days after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah declared that Khan would be convicted in a military court since the former prime minister was the architect of the May 9 tragedy.
Khan`s party found itself in hot waters when protesters allegedly belonging to the party attacked civil and military properties on May 9 following the arrest of Khan in the Al-Qadir corruption case.
The trial of people involved in the attacks on military installations in different parts of the country, including the attack on General Headquarters in Rawalpindi as well as Lahore`s Jinnah House where the Corps Commander was residing, has already begun. Earlier Asif was reported as saying that no decision had been made in connection with trying the cricketer turned politician under the Army Act but he had not ruled out that possibility on the grounds that Khan was the mastermind behind the May 9 violence and knew everything about what was happening on that day.
Both the defence and interior ministers
statements hinting at Khans trial in a military court stem from the federal cabinet`s decision that the protesters who vandalised military installations on May 9 would be tried under the Army Act and Official Secrets Act.
The government ministers have repeatedly said
that no new military courts would be established and the suspects would be tried in the “special standing courts” that were already functioning under the Army Act.
Army Chief General Asim Munir also said perpetrators, planners and executors of the May 9 attacks would be tried under the Army Act and Official Secret Act, adding that no leniency would be shown to those who attacked the military installations.
Khan denied his role in the violence stating he was in prison when the episodes took place. He has alleged that the regime aims to hold him in prison for 10 years in a sedition prosecution.
On May 9, violent protests erupted after the arrest of Khan by paramilitary Rangers in Islamabad. His party workers vandalised over 20 military installations and government buildings, including the Lahore Corps Commander House, Mianwali airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad. The Army headquarters GHQ in Rawalpindi was also attacked by the mob for the first time Khan was later released on bail.
The violence elicited a strong reaction from the government and military with vows of taking action against the culprits, leading to an ongoing crackdown against those involved.
Law enforcement agencies have arrested over 10,000 workers of Khan
s Pakistan party across Pakistan, 4,000 of them from Punjab. Police put the death toll in violent clashes to 10 while Khans party claims 40 of its workers lost their lives in the firing by security personnel.
The Punjab Police had previously claimed, citing a geo-fencing report, that Khan and his close aides allegedly coordinated efforts to storm the residence of the Lahore Corps Commander and other buildings.