ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Saturday said the chances were that PTI Chairman Imran Khan could be tried in a military court in connection with his alleged involvement in the May 9 attacks on civil and military installations in different cities — days after Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah had hinted at that possibility too.
The defence minister told an English daily that the former premier could stand trial in a military court if evidence of his involvement in the May 9 violence surfaced in the coming days.
He also confirmed that no case had been registered against Imran so far in connection with the May 9 attacks.
“Definitely…there are chances that Imran Khan can be tried in a military court,” the minister said while responding to a question if the deposed premier could be prosecuted under the Army Act.
Earlier, Asif was reported as saying that no decision had been made in connection with trying Imran under the Army Act but he had not ruled out that possibility, allegedly on the grounds that the PTI chief was the mastermind behind the May 9 violence and knew everything about what was happening on that day.
Now, Asif has said Imran’s trial in a military court was more likely to take place provided that evidence of his involvement in the mayhem came to light.
The defence minister’s remarks have come on the heels of the statement by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who said Imran would face trial in a military court for his “role” in the May 9 attacks.
Sanaullah recently accused Imran of “personally planning attacks” on military installations, saying that there was ample evidence to substantiate these allegations.
The interior minister said the proofs were available in the shape of Imran’s tweets and messages.
He claimed that Imran personally orchestrated the attacks and questioned why his trial should not be conducted in a military court.
The PTI found itself in hot waters, when in an unprecedented show of hooliganism, protesters allegedly belonging to the party, vandalised public and private properties on May 9.
They even attacked the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi as well Lahore’s Jinnah House where the city’s corps commander was residing, among other buildings, installations and symbols of State.
The attack occurred hours after Rangers personnel arrested the PTI chief in the Al-Qadir Trust corruption case on the orders of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) from the Islamabad High Court premises.
Violent protests broke out across the country after the arrest and the rioters vandalised civilian infrastructure and military installations.
Both the defence and interior ministers’ statements hinting at the former premier’s trial in a military court stem from the federal cabinet’s decision that the protesters, who ransacked and vandalised military installations on May 9, would be tried under the Army Act and Official Secrets Act.