Prosecuting Generals For May 9: Twitterati Express Caution

Prosecuting Generals For May 9: Twitterati Express Caution
The country's powerful military announced on Monday that it had sacked three senior officers, including a three-star general (lieutenant general), for failing to prevent violent attacks on military installations by violent supporters of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan as they protested their leader's arrest.

Though he took no names, the head of the military's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Ahmad Sharif Chaudhry, in a news conference on Monday afternoon, said that they had launched action against another 15 senior army officers following two departmental inquiries, headed by major generals.

These 15 army officers included three major generals (two-star generals) and seven brigadiers (one-star generals).

This was the strongest public message the military has given on clearing its own house over the May 9 incidents.

The severity of the incident drew some choice reactions from people, who took to social media platforms such as Twitter to express themselves.

Writer and communications consultant Shama Junejo wrote, "The VERY ANGRY tone of DG ISPR tells the mood of Pakistani military on #9thMay incident. They won't spare anyone, whoever is involved!"

Lawyer and human rights activist Imaan Hazir Mazari commented that the people of Pakistan would hold them accountable and that no one can be a judge in his own cause.

Writer Nadeem Farooq Paracha pointed to the military's announcement to suggest how efforts of those outside the force to instigate within were futile from the start.

READ MORE: Fallen Horses: The Coup Attempts That Failed In Pakistan

Some, like lawyer Reema Omer, raised concerns over the way the military was treating the severity of incidents of May 9 and what the scale of response would be.

"Calling May 9 Pakistan's 9/11 is insensitive, sensationalist, and plain wrong

Only comparison could be in the reaction: like the US, is our State going to respond with dehumanisation of perceived "enemy""

Journalist Cyril Almeida summarised the news conference in the most direct way: "Short version of ISPR: Imran is toast..."

Salman Masood, another local journalist, said that per his sources, there was no evidence of a coup being staged but that the officers sacked were for their failure to protect military installations.

Others, such as historian Maryam Khan noted that arguments from some on whether the officers should have held public inquiries were the same thinking that got us to this stage in the first place.

Another journalist, Taha Siddiqui called out how the military officials sacked were not named and that their day in court passed without making airwaves while the civilians who will be tried in military courts are being shown on television.