Deal Sternly With Rioters, But Not Under Army Laws: Rabbani

Deal Sternly With Rioters, But Not Under Army Laws: Rabbani
Senator Raza Rabbani stressed on Tuesday that it was necessary to bring the May 9 rioters to justice, but that the trial of civilians under the army laws would have "far-reaching repercussions for the state."

"Today, we're experiencing the fallouts of the results of a failed rebellion against the state," the senior PPP leader said while addressing the Senate. "The political instability is today giving rise to economic stability."

Speaking about the May 9 unrest and chaos, he stressed 'strictest of the action' against those behind the military installation attacks.

"The state must act sternly and enforce its writ. But there is a caveat to that," he said and advised that this action should be within within the ambit of the law.

'Take masterminds to task'

The veteran politician demanded that the "masterminds" of May 9 be taken to task as well. "But there is a caveat to this as well; the trial of civilians under the Army Act and Official Secrets Act should be avoided."

Calling such a trial of the rioters inappropriate, he said it would have its own far-reaching repercussions for the state.

He also lamented the passage of a resolution in support of the trial. "I am sad that the National Assembly passed a resolution [endorsing] military trials" of the suspects. This doesn’t suit Parliament."

May 9 riots

Riots broke out in multiple cities across the country after PTI chairman Imran Khan was taken into custody from the IHC premises in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

The violence included an arson at Lahore Corps Commander’s House – also known as Jinnah House –  as the rioters vandalised the residence.

Following the attacks on sensitive installations, the army vowed to take the perpetrators and the planners to justice.

The government has also been vocal about the former premier's military trial, saying he was the planner of the unprecedented unrest.