May 9 Attacks: 16 ‘Miscreants, Arsonists’ Handed Over to Pakistan Army for Trial in Military Courts | Exclusive

A traffic police officer stands amid the debris of a damaged check post set afire by supporters of Pakistan’s former PM Imran Khan during a protest against his arrest, in Karachi, Pakistan, on May 10. (Image: REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro)

The anti-terrorism court ordered that the 16 suspects, including former MPA Mian Akram Usman, should be handed over to the commanding officer in the case of arson and vandalism at the Corps Commander House in Lahore

The Pakistan Army on Thursday sought custody of 16 suspects, allegedly responsible for the May 9 attacks on military establishments, for trial under the Army Act. The country’s anti-terrorism court ordered that the 16 miscreants, including former MPA Mian Akram Usman, should be handed over to the commanding officer in the case of arson and vandalism at the Corps Commander House in Lahore.

A house-to-house search order was issued in Islamabad for Afghans allegedly involved in the incidents on May 9 and 10. The ATC (anti-terrorism court) accepted the commanding officer’s plea to hand over custody of 16 suspects in the case under the Army Act.

On May 23, the joint investigation teams (JIT) formed to probe the May 9 attacks launched their investigation. According to the authorities, the teams have arrested 688 suspects so far, while 1,634 people involved in the attacks are still wanted.

The JIT officials said 422 people involved in extremist activities were referred to the counterterrorism department (CTD) for investigation, while 571 people were sent to jail.

The decision regarding search orders for Afghans was taken by the Islamabad police after the vandals could not be arrested. A police spokesperson said photographs of all those involved had been obtained and the administration had failed to get more data from National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

A total of six teams comprising CTD officials will conduct search operations in Islamabad’s G8 Sector and Mirabadi Golra as well as its surroundings.

Earlier in the day, former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi, along with over 600 leaders and former assembly members of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, were barred from leaving the country. Khan and several top leaders of his party are facing cases following the violence after he was arrested on May 9 in a corruption case.

Citing sources within the Federal Investigation Authority (FIA), Geo News reported that the names of the PTI leaders and its party chief have been added for their involvement in the May 9 violence and desecration of martyrs’ monuments. However, there was no official confirmation on the development from Khan’s party.

The names have been added to the FIA’s Provincial National Identification List (PNIL) to prevent them from going abroad, the sources said. Some of the PTI leaders and office-bearers tried leaving the country in the last three days, but were stopped at the airports, sources added.

The list includes Murad Saeed, Maleeka Bokhari, Fawad Chaudhry, Hammad Azhar, Qasim Suri, Asad Qaiser, Yasmin Rashid and Mian Aslam Iqbal. Fawad Chaudhry has already quit the party but his name has been listed among those who cannot fly out of Pakistan.

Earlier, Samaa News channel reported that the federal government has decided to add the names of 80 people, including Khan and his wife, to the no-fly list. The names of all the PTI leaders were put in the list on the recommendation of the “institutions concerned”, the news channel reported.

It said the police department, National Accountability Bureau and the anti-corruption department had requested the ministry of interior to include these names to the no-fly list. The no-fly list is maintained by the ministry of interior and officials deployed at airports or other land exit routes are provided the names of individuals who cannot go out.

(With PTI inputs)

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