Pakistan: Imran Khan turns down military’s demand to apologise for May 9 mayhem


Jailed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan has refused to apologise for the May 9 riots a day after the military ruled out holding dialogue with those involved in last year’s violent protests.

“Why should I tender apology, it should be sought from me,” the deposed prime minister said during an informal conversation with journalists in Rawalpindi’s Adiala Jail on Wednesday where he has been incarcerated since August last year after he was booked in a number of cases ranging from corruption to violating Official Secrets Act.

The PTI founder was responding to a question related to Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Tuesday’s press conference wherein he demanded “those involved in the May 9 violent protests to apologise” and shun politics of “anarchy” before holding any dialogue.

In the hours-long presser, the chief military spokesperson had also ruled out any dialogue with those who attacked military installations and insulted the nation’s martyrs.

He had also said that the May 9 accused and perpetrators would have to be punished as per the Constitution and law.

The May 9 events refer to violent protests triggered by the arrest of former PM Imran Khan in a corruption case from the premises of Islamabad High Court (IHC) last year.

During the protests, alleged PTI supporters damaged public and private properties and also attacked military installations in different parts of the country.

In today’s interaction with journalists, the PTI founder distanced his party from the violent protests, saying that the party never resorted to violence in its history of 27 years.

He further said that he only came to know about the May 9 riots when he was presented before then-chief justice Umar Ata Bandial in the Supreme Court.

“I condemned the May 9 incidents in front of [former] chief justice Umar Ata Bandial,” he added.

Referring to the DG ISPR statement linking dialogue with the apology, the ousted premier said: “If you don’t want to talk, then don’t, I am asking for holding dialogues for the sake of Pakistan.”

Khan said neither he was interested in striking any “deal” nor wanted to go abroad and flee the country.

He also referred to the Capitol riots in the United States in 2021, saying that suspects involved in the Capitol attack were sentenced after being identified through CCTV footage.

“While here [in Pakistan] the CCTV footage disappeared,” he said pointing towards the investigation into the May 9 violence.

Khan also backed DG ISPR Maj Gen Chaudhry’s call to hold the judicial inquiry into the 2014 sit-in staged by the PTI against the alleged rigging in the 2013 general elections.

“I am ready for inquiry into the 2014 sit-in. I will be happy to appear before an inquiry committee. All allegations against me related to the 2014 sit-in are false,” he added.

“The army is ours and we have no problem with the army,” the PTI founder said in the same interaction. “For God’s sake, do not drag the military into politics.”__The News