Pakistan defence minister accuses Imran of trying to cause mutiny in military

Khan’s party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, Mianwali Airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad

Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo: National Herald archives)
Former Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo: National Herald archives)


Pakistan's defence minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday, 4 May, claimed that jailed former prime minister Imran Khan had tried to cause a mutiny in the military during the violent protests on 9 May 2023 when his party workers damaged key military installations across the country.

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. The Army headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi was also attacked by the mob for the first time.

“They (Imran Khan and his party) had tried to cause mutiny in the army on 9 May (2023) and now they are begging for holding talks with the military establishment. There has been no such example of 9 May (attack on military installations) in the country’s history,” Asif said while talking to reporters in Lahore.

The defence minister further said that a year ago, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) supporters attacked Corp Commander House Lahore, GHQ army headquarters, Mianwali Airfield etc and the government had all the evidence of these attacks.

“Redline was crossed on 9 May as the PTI leadership had made this plan to attack military installations before. This party has made a conspiracy against Pakistan’s integrity,” he alleged.

The minister said the PTI supremo had made a three-member committee to hold talks with the military establishment.

“They have realised now that in politics talks are the only way forward. We knew this before. Khan has handed over his party to lawyers and seeking negotiations but it’s too late for this,” he said and added a special session of the National Assembly might be held on 9 May in connection with the PTI’s attack on military installations in 2023.

He said the PTI leadership has ignored its workers who are languishing in jails in connection with the riots.

Imran Khan, 71, has been incarcerated in Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail since August last year after being sentenced in some cases. Khan is facing around 200 cases.

Khan this week wrote in The Telegraph alleging the military establishment, under the direct guidance of Gen Asim Munir, the chief of army staff, has tried every tactic to decimate his party’s presence in the political environment of Pakistan but failed.

“The oppression, torture and denial of our election symbol have been extensively documented, but nothing has worked for the military and the powerless civilian leadership acting as its puppets. Pakistan’s general elections on 8 February, 2024, showed the utter failure of their design,” he said.

Meanwhile, Khan has said that he is ready to hold talks but not to strike a “deal” with anyone who has stolen his party’s mandate in the 8 February general election.

Talking to journalists at the high-security Adiala jail in Rawalpindi on Friday, the 71-year-old Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf founder asserted that negotiations were held only with adversaries and therefore the talks should be held with those who were the biggest opponents of PTI at present, apparently a reference to the military establishment, the Dawn newspaper reported on Saturday.

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