Solidifying Unity: Pakistan’s Resilience Post-May 9 Arson

Pakistan’s Resilience Post-May 9 Arson

As Clausewitz had observed, “While the nature of war remains unchanged, i.e., it remains violent, interactive and political, its character may change with evolution in social values, laws and technology, etc.” Pakistan, in one of its challenging periods of time, faced a similar situation on May 9, 2023 as a manifestation of the ongoing hybrid war unleashed to undermine the sanctity of the institution of military and damage the reputation of the state, both at home and in the eyes of the international community.

The question is whether the massive attacks on military installations, both actual or symbolic, were a spontaneously carried out national reaction or a carefully well-planned, and sinisterly well-thought-out response engineered and then mobilized through weeks and months’ hybrid instigation of the youth? Wasn’t it masterminded conspiratorially to what the National Security Council, Corps Commanders Conference and the security establishment ascertained from the facts gathered on ground to trigger a mutiny against the most important pillar of the state? 
Post-May 9 Black Day, Pakistan faced a challenging test of unity and resilience. The nation was in shock, but the people of Pakistan and its Armed Forces rose together to strengthen their bonds of unity. Not only were the perpetrators involved in this incident caught and dealt with in accordance with the state law, but the people of Pakistan stood hand-in-hand with the bereaved families of the Shuhada and uplifted the morale of the Armed Forces personnel serving in the line of duty. 
A prompt need was faced by the state in general and Armed Forces in particular to apprehend the perpetrators with iron hands. In this context, a Special Corps Commanders’ Conference was called and presided by the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General Syed Asim Munir. In various events, such as the Corps Commanders Conference, 81st Formation Commanders Conference along with various visits of the COAS to military installations such as Sialkot Garrison and Corps Headquarters Peshawar, the Army Chief emphasized and reiterated Armed Forces’ resolve to remain steadfast with the families of Shuhada and boost the morale of the soldiers. During the conferences, there was a strong condemnation of politically motivated incidents and a determination to bring the perpetrators to justice. Pakistan’s united front triumphed in the face of attempts to distort the truth or sow division through fake news and propaganda. The Armed Forces and the people united together to demolish these ill-conceived plans, firmly defending truth and resilience. The Army Chief paid tribute to the Shuhada and emphasized their utmost respect and honor in the conferences presided over by COAS. With the people’s strong support, the Armed Forces reinforced their commitment to defending Pakistan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. The forum asserted, “The State of Pakistan and Armed Forces will always keep Shuhada and their families in the highest esteem and will continue to honor them and their sacrifices with utmost respect and dignity.” The forums condemned the politically motivated and instigated attacks on military installations and public/private property, pledging to hold the perpetrators accountable. Irrefutable evidence has been gathered, rendering efforts to distort the truth futile. Attempts to divide and confuse the society through fake news and propaganda have been dealt with resilience.

“We shall continue with our endeavors of peace and stability and there will be no room for spoilers of the process.”

–COAS, Corps Headquarters Peshawar, May 13, 2023.

“The martyrs have been promised the highest abode in the life hereafter and shall continue to maintain the highest levels of respect amongst the people of Pakistan. The state of Pakistan and Armed Forces will always maintain all Shuhada and their families in very high esteem and continue to honor them and their supreme sacrifices with utmost respect and dignity.”
“No one will be allowed to disrespect our Shuhada and their monuments. They are a source of inspiration and pride for the ranks and files of the Armed Forces, law enforcement agencies, government officials and the people of Pakistan.”

–COAS, Sialkot Garrison, May 17, 2023

COAS reiterated, “Pakistan Army will remain committed towards their national obligations of safeguarding territorial integrity and sovereignty” of the country. He further said, “People of Pakistan and their deep solidarity with the Armed Forces are and will remain central to all our undertakings and events of May 25 were a clear manifestation of same.”

“Hostile forces and their abettors have been trying hard to create societal division and confusion through fake news and propaganda, but all such designs will continue to be defeated with the full support of the nation, Insha’Allah.” COAS asserted.

–COAS, 81st Formation Commanders Conference, June 07, 2023

Despite the darkness shrouding Pakistan’s history on May 9, the nation emerged more robust and committed than ever. In the face of adversity, Pakistan’s people stood united with its Armed Forces, reinforcing their bonds of unity. Post-May 9 Black Day, ISPR’s Director General, Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry, held an important press briefing regarding the tragic May 9 incident, emphasizing its distressing and condemnable nature. DG ISPR highlighted that the self-accountability process within the military is also in process, with strict disciplinary actions taken against those responsible for security and sanctity failure. Investigations revealed the involvement of several masterminds and planners in the incident, which had been pre-planned by several non-state actors, masterminds, and planners. The armed forces, martyrs’ families, and veterans expressed mourning, anger, and grief, questioning the exploitation of sacrifices for political gains. He further said that the military courts are working as per the established law to deal with these offensives. These courts are still working tirelessly across the country to bring the perpetrators to justice and it is being proved that the May 9 Arson was pre-planned. Furthermore, DG ISPR also highlighted that the nation stands resolute to overcome the propaganda patronized by foreign elements through local facilitation and to punish the perpetrators. Any obstructions by or ill intentions of inimical forces will be dealt with firmly. “Based on the irrefutable evidence collected so far, armed forces are well aware of the planners, instigators, abettors and perpetrators of these attacks, and attempts to create distortions in this regard are absolutely futile”, Director General ISPR briefed the media following the special meeting of the Corps Commanders. 

The incident is the darkest chapter in Pakistan’s 76-year history. Malicious elements raised concerns about exploiting the martyrs’ sacrifices and sanctity for political objectives.

–DG ISPR, June 26, 2023

They ensured that the sacrifices of the Shuhada would not be forgotten, honoring them with the utmost respect and dignity through resilience, accountability, and unwavering determination.

The families of the Shuhada found solace and pride in witnessing the nation’s and Armed Forces’ resounding comeback. The people of Pakistan’s unwavering support and solidarity provided a sense of peace and reassurance to the families, assuring them that their loved ones’ sacrifices were not in vain. This collective show of unity and resilience has strengthened ties between the people and the Armed Forces, laying the foundation for a stronger, more united Pakistan. 

The author is a member of the staff.

Courtesy by GHULAM MURTAZA MIR – HILAL English

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A researcher and avid reader passionate about history, international relations, and the intricacies of Pakistan studies

Ghulam Murtaza Mir

A researcher and avid reader passionate about history, international relations, and the intricacies of Pakistan studies