In a rare show of Pakistan’s most powerful institution being on the defensive, the military says its it investigating a widely reported brawl.
Two army officers reportedly recently used uniformed soldiers to beat traffic police officials who gave them tickets for speeding and reckless driving.
In a statement on September 12, the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistani military’s media wing, said authorities are investigating the “sad” incident.
“Law will take its course in disposing of the case and justice will be done,” said a statement posted on ISPR’s official Facebook page.
The announcement follows a police complaint of the incident and outcry over the incident on social media.
According to a police report published in Pakistan’s daily Express Tribune, some 25 uniformed army soldiers assaulted four officials of Pakistan’s National Highways and Motorway police on the afternoon of September 10 after they chased and stopped two cars that were being “recklessly driven” in the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.
“On arrival at the scene the army personnel assaulted the officers with [rifle] butt and baton,” the report noted. “Later on, the army personnel forcibly took the police officers in their official vehicles to the Attock Fort.”
The report said the cops were detained at Attock’s military garrison in the neighboring eastern province of Punjab for a “considerable time in wrongful confinement before being released.”
Journalists and activists condemned the incident on social media and posted alleged photos of the incident in which uniformed soldiers and army officers in civilian clothes can been seen punching and pushing a uniformed police official.
The military is Pakistan’s most powerful institution. Four military dictators have ruled the country for more than 34 years since its independence in 1947.
Critics and civilian politicians complain that army generals control the levers of power even when elected civilian governments are in office.