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Committee formed to inquire May 9th incident

Additionally, the committee is mandated to analyze the causes, assign responsibility for the events, and assess their immediate and long-term implications.

Committee formed to inquire May 9th incident

On Saturday, the Cabinet Division established a five-member committee with the responsibility of identifying the individuals involved in the events of May 9, 2023. These incidents, marked by nationwide violence, occurred following the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan. The committee’s focus includes determining the roles of masterminds, planners, facilitators, and executors in these events.

Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9, 2023, by the National Accountability Bureau, assisted by the paramilitary Rangers at the Islamabad High Court in the Al Qadir Trust case, led to widespread protests, vandalism, and violence across the country. The military labeled these events as a “dark chapter” and expressed its intention to prosecute the rioters under the Pakistan Army Act and Official Secrets Act.

Despite opposition from rights organizations and activists, the National Security Committee endorsed this decision, making it the primary decision-making body on foreign policy and national security in the country. Subsequently, various individuals, including PTI activists, faced trials in military courts, and some party leaders resigned in condemnation of the violence on the day of Imran’s arrest and the subsequent attacks on military installations.

The five-member committee comprises the Minister for Law and Justice, Minister for Interior, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Minister for Human Rights, and a co-opted member to address any emerging issues during the proceedings.

Report to be submitted in 14 days 

The committee’s terms of references (ToRs), as outlined in the notification, involve examining the May 9 incidents to determine the identity and roles of masterminds, planners, facilitators, and executors. Additionally, the committee is mandated to analyze the causes, assign responsibility for the events, and assess their immediate and long-term implications.

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The committee is also tasked with proposing preventive measures to avoid a recurrence of such a breach of national security. Within the specified ToRs, the committee must recommend measures to strengthen the existing legal framework to discourage similar incidents. The Ministry of Interior will provide secretarial support, and the committee is required to submit a comprehensive report for cabinet consideration within 14 days.