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Keep army out of politics in country’s best interest: ISPR

  • Unsubstantiated, defamatory, and provocative statements are extremely damaging, says the military’s media wing
Published May 8, 2022
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The Army has taken a "strong exception" to "intensified and deliberate attempts" to drag its name into the country's ongoing political discourse by "some political leaders, journalists, and analysts", the military’s media affairs wing said on Sunday.

In a press release, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) noted that attempts to involve the armed forces and its senior leadership in the political discourse were "manifest through direct, insinuated or nuanced references made by some political leaders, few journalists and analysts on public forums and various communication platforms, including social media".

Army has got nothing to do with politics: ISPR

"This practice of unsubstantiated, defamatory, and provocative statements/remarks is extremely damaging," the ISPR said.

It added that the military takes strong exception to such "unlawful and unethical practices" and expects everyone to abide by the law and keep the armed forces out of political discourse in the "best interest of the country".

Punjab governor writes letter to COAS over ‘crisis’

The statement comes after weeks of heightened political activity in the country, involving the issue of the former prime minister Imran Khan's removal from power.

Khan, who is also the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), claims that he was removed from power due to an international conspiracy that had the support of local politicians.

Earlier on Sunday, Khan vowed to bring over two million people to Islamabad to protest against the alleged “foreign conspiracy” to remove him from the office through a no-trust vote.

“I believe that more than two million people will march towards Islamabad when I give protest call to my nation after May 20, no matter how many containers, how many hurdles this “imported government” erects,” Khan said while addressing a large public gathering in Abbottabad.

It is pertinent to mention here that last month, the military dismissed ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's accusation that the United States had conspired to topple him in a parliamentary vote of confidence.

Imran Khan vows to bring two million people to Islamabad

"You can see clearly whether there's any word of conspiracy in that statement. I don't think so," the military's spokesman, Major General Babar Iftikhar, told a news conference in reference to an NSC statement that had expressed concern over the non-diplomatic language used in a cable from a "foreign country", widely assumed to mean the United States, about the no-confidence vote.

Iftikhar denied Khan's assertion that the army chief of staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, had offered to help mediate in his deadlock with the opposition.

Instead, he said, Khan had asked Bajwa to convey to the opposition on his behalf that he would call snap elections if the no-confidence motion was withdrawn.

"(Bajwa) went to the opposition and placed this request in front of them, and after a detailed discussion they said that they wouldn't take any such step, and that 'we will go on as we have planned'," said Iftikhar.

He also clarified that the United States had never asked for military bases in Pakistan after U.S.-led forces' withdrawal from Afghanistan last August. Khan's party had said that Washington turned against him after he said "absolutely not" in a TV interview in response to a question about whether he would give the bases to the Americans.

Khan has aired the conspiracy allegations in his public rallies, demanding snap elections.

The next parliamentary election is due in 2023.


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Doc Asad May 08, 2022 09:03pm
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