By Atul Aneja
New Delhi, Jun 9: The military purge in Pakistan has gathered steam to root out supporters of ex-Prime Minister Imran Khan whose early arrest is now on the cards.
Authoritative sources told India Narrative that at least 16 army officers including two Major Generals (GOCs) of Lahore, and some brigadiers are already undergoing court martial proceedings.
As of now, there is silence on the fate of ex-Corps Commander Lahore, who is suspected of involvement in the ransacking of Jinnah House, the corps commanders' residence in Lahore by insurrectionists on May 9.
There is considerable speculation that former Director General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Faiz Hameed, is believed to be under house arrest. Some sections in Pakistan consider Gen. Hameed as the mastermind of the mutiny.
As a result of the on-going purge, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Asim Munir has emerged strongest in the military establishment following to the May 9 incident.
Gen. Munir initiated the military purge soon after the failure of the rebellion marshalled by Khan and his vast network of supporters. It is learnt that the Pak Army Chief, furious at perpetrator of the May 9 mayhem, fully demonstrated his feelings during his visits to various corps and garrisons after the incident.
During these visits the Chief of Army Staff apparently exhorted the rank and file to behave professionally, and root out pro-PTI or any other kind of political inclination from their minds.
Gen. Munir's line of thought was clear-no mercy would be shown towards those complicit in the May 9 attacks, irrespective of their elite status. Even families of retired and serving generals would be in the firing line.
The purge acquired institutional momentum after the four-day formation commanders conference that began on June 4. The press statement issued after the meeting further amplified the intent of the top military brass to root out Khan's supporters in the military.
Regarding the ex-PM's fate, India Narrative has learnt that after his arrest which is only a matter of time, Khan would be tried in a military court and is expected to be awarded long prison sentence.
Besides, at least 14 other leaders of Khan's party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), including Ijaz Chaudhry, Yasmin Rashid, Murad Saeed, Ali Amin Gandapur, Mehmoodul Rashid, Ali Nawaz Awan, Hassan Niazi, Alia Hamza, Kanwal Shozab, Khadija Shah, Aleema Khan, Sheharyar Afridi are also expected to be tried under the Army Act.
The moves would be in tune with the declaration by the formation commanders that "while the legal trials of perpetrators and instigators have commenced, it is time that noose of law is also tightened around the planners and masterminds who mounted the hate ripened and politically driven rebellion against the state and state institutions to achieve their nefarious design of creating chaos in the country".
By trying the kingpins of the May 9 rebellion under the Army, Khan and his coterie would be unable to seek relief from the judiciary including the Supreme Court, who would have no role in trials in the military courts.
As reported by IN the military is miffed by the role of Pakistani judiciary especially the Supreme Court of Pakistan, including Chief Justice Umar Ata Bandial and the Lahore High court, which has shielded Khan and his top lieutenants.
On the political front, the much-touted tigers of the PTI are gathering as herd under the umbrella of Jehangir Khan Tareen (JKT)'s Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP). The IPP includes Khan's one-time loyalists including Ali Zaidi, Imran Ismail, Fawad Chaudhry, Murad Raas, and Kayani among others.