One Year Later: Jinnah House is Still Waiting For May 9 Incident’s Investigation

A year has passed since the shocking incident that took place at the Jinnah House, also known as the Corps Commander House, in Lahore on May 9, 2023. The incident, which involved a violent attack and arson by protestors, has left a lasting impact on the nation, and the investigation into the events of that day is still ongoing.

Jinnah House, acquired by the Pakistan Army from Fatima Jinnah, Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s sister, for Rs. 3,50,000, holds significant historical and symbolic value. The attack on this iconic structure was not just an act of vandalism but a blow to the nation’s heritage.

The Incident

On May 9, 2023, the Corps Commander House, Lahore, was attacked by protestors from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in response to the arrest of Imran Khan on the same day. The violent protestors first raided Jinnah House at 5:15 pm, however, the security forces pushed back the protestors who were 20 to 30 in number. At 5:27 PM, the miscreants re-entered Jinnah House with a gradually increasing number, and from 5: 30 pm to 6 o’clock, the miscreants severely damaged Jinnah House. Furthermore, Jinnah House was completely burned at 6:07 pm by the miscreants. The attack was part of a nationwide wave of violence that erupted in response to Khan’s arrest.

The Investigation

In the aftermath of the incident, several PTI leaders were arrested, and human rights concerns were raised over the arrests. The PTI party was accused of inciting violence but denied getting involved. Khan and party leaders have urged for an independent judicial commission to investigate.

Recently, investigators identified 120 more suspects in the Jinnah House attack case, and their records were handed over to the investigation officers. Special teams have been constituted to arrest the accused. In another development, the Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) granted the custody of 16 miscreants – involved in the Jinnah house vandalism case – to a commanding officer under the Military Act.

Recent Developments

Despite the progress in the investigation, the case is far from closed. The ATC has granted bail to 15 accused in the Jinnah House attack case. Meanwhile, another key suspect, Muhammad Arsalan, was recently arrested.

The incident and the subsequent political uncertainty had a negative impact on Pakistan’s economy. The stock market crashed, the rupee lost value, and foreign investors became wary of investing in Pakistan.

DG ISPR Press Talk

In the press talk, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry emphasized the need for the perpetrators and facilitators of the May 9, 2023 riots to be sentenced according to the law to maintain the credibility of the justice system. He supported the formation of a judicial commission to investigate not only the May 9 riots but also the PTI’s 2014 dharna, the attack on parliament and PTV, and the use of resources.

The importance of political accountability was highlighted, suggesting that those involved in destabilizing the government should face consequences. The DG ISPR stated that there will be no talks with any political leader or group involved in attacks against the army unless they sincerely apologize and engage in constructive politics. The press talk also addressed the need for transparency and public trials, the PTI's denial of involvement in the riots, and the importance of political dialogue over confrontation.

A Year On: Justice Still Awaited

A year later, the Jinnah House still bears the scars of that fateful day, and the people of Pakistan continue to wait for justice. The incident has raised serious questions about the state of law and order in the country, and the ability of the authorities to protect national heritage sites.

The Jinnah House incident serves as a stark reminder of the political volatility in Pakistan. As the investigation continues, the nation hopes for justice and a resolution to this chapter in its history. The incident has left a lasting impact on the nation, and the hope is that lessons will be learned to prevent such incidents in the future.

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