Military Dismayed At Allegations of Electoral Interference, Vows No Quarter For May 9 Perpetrators

Corps Commander's Conference extends support and expresses hope that the newly-elected government would be able to deliver the desired political and economic stability resulting in peace and prosperity

Military Dismayed At Allegations of Electoral Interference, Vows No Quarter For May 9 Perpetrators

The military top brass on Tuesday expressed its "dismay" at allegations from some vested, small segments of polity and media, especially social media, that the military had interfered in the election outcomes. At the same time, it reiterated its vow to prosecute the suspects of the May 9 incidents.

This was expressed during the 263rd Corps Commanders' Conference (CCC), which was held on Tuesday at the military's nerve centre, the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The conference was presided over by Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir.

"Maligning the armed forces of Pakistan with unsubstantiated allegations of interference which is highly deplorable," read the statement on the conference issued by the military's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

It asserted that while they provided a secure environment for the conduct of the general elections as per the given mandate, even at great peril to their primary responsibility, the military had nothing to do with the electoral process. 

The military's top brass further said that the civil administration, law enforcement agencies, and security forces had assisted last month's general elections in light of guidelines from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

"It's unfortunate that rather than focusing on real issues such as good governance, economic recovery, political stability and public well-being, the entire focus of such vested elements is on creating political instability and uncertainty by attempting to scapegoat others for their own failings," the military's statement added.

Regarding complaints of irregularity or 'interference', the military emphasised that "due legal processes be followed with evidence and proof rather than resorting to unconstitutional and uncalled for baseless political rhetoric and emotional outbursts."

May 9 attackers

The military made it clear that the passage of time since May 9 has done little to dampen their focus on bringing perpetrators to book.

Noting the resolve of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the military expressed its commitment that the planners, instigators, abettors and perpetrators/ desecrators of Shuhada Monuments and attackers of military installations on May 9 would certainly be brought to justice under the relevant provisions of the law and Constitution.

"In this regard, malicious efforts to create distortions, confusion and disinformation are absolutely futile and only part of an organised campaign being launched for narrow political interests, to blur the abhorrent activities that took place."

Support for new government and expectations

The military, while expressing "satisfaction" with the smooth, democratic transition of power in the centre and provinces, hoped that the post-election environment would bring the desired political and economic stability to the country, resulting in peace and prosperity for the people and the country.

"The military commanders expressed that it strongly believed democratic consolidation was the way forward for the country," the statement said.

Noting how the military leadership was cognizant of the full spectrum of the challenges and threats facing the country, the statement said the commanders were committed to shoulder their constitutionally-mandated responsibilities with public support.

The military commanders reiterated that they would continue to provide full support to the government in combating security threats and uplifting socio-economic growth in the country, including wholehearted assistance in curbing all illegal activities, including smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, implementation of the One-Document Regime and respectable and safe repatriation of all illegal foreigners.

Spread of fake news 

The military commanders noted with concern how organised misinformation and fake news was being spread by certain nefarious elements to sow despondency and divisions within the society.

The military urged the public to remain positive and united and wholeheartedly participate in the progress and development of the country. 

The conference participants affirmed that the army will continue defending and serving the nation in every possible way in our journey towards enduring stability, prosperity and security.

Combatting terrorism

Earlier, the military's top brass paid rich tribute to the supreme sacrifices of Shuhadas (martyrs), including officers and men of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and citizens who have laid down their lives to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The military commanders resolved that terrorists, their facilitators and abettors, who were working at the behest of hostile forces to destabilise Pakistan, would be dealt with the full might of the state.

COAS directed commanders to continue consolidating the gains of efforts against terrorism and militancy.

Kashmir and Palestine

The forum expressed concerns over the continued repression of Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and condemned the unabated human rights violations by India. 

The military commanders reaffirmed that Pakistan will continue to support Kashmiris politically, diplomatically and morally at all levels.

The forum also expressed complete solidarity with the people of Palestine. It condemned serious human rights violations and the crimes being perpetrated in Gaza. The military deemed the violent aggression in Gaza as "war crimes".

COAS said that "the Palestinian people have unequivocal diplomatic, moral and political support of the Pakistani nation, and we will continue to support the principled stance of our brethren for enduring resolution of the Palestinian issue".