In an effort to apprehend these suspects, authorities have been monitoring large vehicles traveling from Mall Road to Zaman Park. As a result, a vehicle transporting PTI workers or party members was detained. Despite the police presence, the number of activists in the vicinity of Mall Road and Zaman Park remained small, and there were no reports of activists engaging in violent acts or clashing with the police. A single gas shell was used to disperse the crowd. Caretaker Minister Aamir Mir, during a press conference at EGPR, urged the PTI leadership to cease their support of troublemakers and promptly hand over those involved in the tragic events of May 9 to law enforcement agencies. Failure to do so within 24 hours would result in the government taking action in Zaman Park.
Citing the need to address the dangers of sabotage and malice, which are more perilous than any viral outbreak, the minister emphasized the necessity of surgical intervention to eradicate terrorism and malfeasance. The government possesses clear evidence indicating that the acts of terrorism witnessed across the country on May 8 were premeditated by the PTI, who sought to seize power. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, a purported political party has engaged in attacks on Jinnah House, the Martyrs’ Memorial, and other military installations, similar to the actions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban, a non-state actor that disregards the constitution and challenges the authority of the state through nepotism.
Former Prime Minister Imran Khan, in his last video message prior to his arrest, urged his followers to surround the authorities. His repeated derogatory remarks against national security institutions and his incitement against the army have contributed to the deteriorating situation. While previous political leaders have been arrested and incarcerated, none have incited violence against the army and the state, as the PTI has done. This behavior is deemed unacceptable by authorities.
The government has instructed law enforcement agencies to adopt a zero-tolerance policy towards the individuals involved in the May 9 incidents. Efforts to identify and apprehend the perpetrators have involved collaboration with NADRA and other agencies, utilizing geofencing techniques. The operation will continue until the last attacker is arrested. Section 144 is currently in effect in the city, imposing a ban on gatherings and processions.
On May 9, the Punjab government and law enforcement agencies exercised restraint to prevent casualties. However, the malevolent elements involved exceeded all limits, prompting the government to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against those who challenge the authority of the state. The government has urged the top leadership of the PTI to immediately hand over the terrorists present in Zaman Park to the police for legal action. Evidence indicates continuous communication between the malevolent elements in Zaman Park and the attackers targeting the Corps Command House Lahore. Furthermore, evidence suggests that the PTI leaders in Zaman Park were providing instructions to the attackers.
If the PTI fails to comply with the demand to surrender the terrorists in Zaman Park to law enforcement agencies, the government will resort to direct measures against the individuals involved in the attacks on military installations. Military courts will oversee the trials. The federal and Punjab governments have already approved these measures, providing the police with full authority to apprehend the rioters. It is expected that all those involved in the incidents of May 9, including the malevolent elements and their accomplices, will be apprehended soon.