Pakistan Army chief General Asim Munir said on Thursday that the nation will “neither forgive nor forget” those involved in the attacks on the “memorials of martyrs”. He made the remarks while addressing an event at the Police Lines here on the occasion of ‘Youm-i-Takreem Shuhada’ (Martyrs’ Reverence Day), which was observed across the country to pay homage to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the nation.

In his address, Gen Munir said that “the nation will neither forgive nor forget those who desecrated the memorials of martyrs and undermined their dignity”.

“Such behaviour will not be tolerated,” he added.

“I want to convey this message to the heirs of the martyrs of all law enforcement agencies that today the people of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army stand and will continue to stand with them,” he added.

Earlier, a ceremony was also held at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi where Gen Munir and his predecessor, retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa, were in attendance.

Similar events were also held across the country at various Corps Headquarters.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on the occasion said the tragic events of May 9 were a wake-up call and all those who wanted to harm the country would be identified and exposed. “By targeting, desecrating and destroying the monuments of Shuhada, and attacking the very symbols of the state, the miscreants attacked the idea and identity of Pakistan and gave the enemies of the country reasons to celebrate,” he said.

President Arif Alvi in his message said that the day was being observed to pay tribute to the “unprecedented courage and sacrifices of our ancestors and personnel of our security forces who have rendered great sacrifices for the motherland”.

The decision to observe the martyrs day was taken after supporters of former prime minister Imran Khan attacked and defiled the memorials of martyrs on May 9.

On May 9, violent protests erupted after paramilitary Rangers arrested Khan from the Islamabad High Court premises. His Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party workers vandalised a dozen military installations, including the Lahore Corps Commander’s House, the Mianwali airbase and the ISI building in Faisalabad in response to Khan’s arrest. The mob also stormed the Army headquarters in Rawalpindi for the first time.

Since the widespread violence, the government has cracked down on Khan’s supporters, arresting thousands of people and threatening trials before military courts.

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