General elections to be held in Oct: Kh Asif

ISLAMABAD: Ruling out the impression of delaying elections, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif on Friday declared that general elections will be held well on time, saying the ongoing law and order situation will normalise in a few days.

“Elections in Pakistan will be held in October,” Khawaja Asif said in an exclusive interview with Al-Jazeera.

The minister said several political leaders including former prime ministers Nawaz Sharif, Benazir Bhutto and others were arrested in Pakistan but no one attacked military installations.

“Armed groups of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf vandalized and arson military installations and other properties on May 9, following the arrest of Imran Khan in the Al-Qadir Trust case, Khawaja Asif alleged.

“Those who attacked military installations are ‘enemies of the state’ and will face trial under military law,” Khawaja Asif reiterated.

Responding to a question, the defense minister said they are not making new laws but will try the suspects under the existing laws.

He said Pakistan is passing through a political crisis but the situation will normalise soon, he added.

The Pakistan Army Act, which was brought into force in 1952, is used to put military personnel on trial under the military’s own legal code. In some provisions and cases, this law is also applicable to civilians.

The act was meant to prosecute army personnel and civilians attached with the military in some capacity.

Civilians accused of sharing official state secrets with the enemy may also be tried in a military court as well as those civilians who are accused of targeting and attacking military installations.



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