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Pakistan

Moonis’ claims on Gen Bajwa raises doubts on institution’s apolitical narrative: Sanaullah

  • PML-Q's Moonis recently claimed Gen Bajwa asked his party to support Imran Khan in no-trust vote
Published December 3, 2022
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Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said on Saturday that claims made by Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) leader Moonis Elahi about former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa have raised “doubts” on the army's decision to stay apolitical.

In a recent interview, Moonis claimed that then-army chief had asked PML-Q to support former premier Imran Khan during the no-trust vote in April.

Imran had lost the no-trust vote after 174 members voted in favour of it.

“When the decision was being taken on which way we have to go, we had received offers from both sides — the Sharif family, Pakistan Democratic Movement as well as PTI," Moonis said in the interview.

According to Moonis, Bajwa said: "It is my wish that you side with PTI."

"Had that man (Gen Bajwa) been bad, why would he have asked us to side with them at that critical juncture? Had that man been that bad and against Khan sahib and the PTI... he only had to give a signal at that juncture and we would have gone the other way,” Moonis said.

PTI’s plan: PML-N taking a wait-and-see approach

In a presser on Saturday, Sanaullah said the nation has complete faith that the military leadership and the institution "will remain true" with the public commitment the DG ISPR and DG ISI made to be apolitical.

Sanaullah questioned why Moonis felt "the need to say all this” and that General Bajwa's benefit and loss do not matter now he has retired.

He further said that the institution had adopted a stance in front of the nation that it had no relation with politics, adding that a clarification was required as Moonis’ statement has raised doubts on the "institution’s stance”.

In an interview with Gulf News, before his retirement, Bajwa had said that the "political quarantine" of the armed forces will augur well for Pakistan in the long term by "fostering political stability and strengthening the army-to-people bond".

He said that the Pakistan Army has always remained a dominant player in national decision-making.

Pak Army’s ‘political quarantine’ will augur well for Pakistan: Gen Bajwa

"Due to its historic role in the country’s politics, the military drew severe criticism from public and politicians alike."

However, he said "we have restricted the army’s role to its constitutional mandated task only by deciding to make it apolitical," a decision he believes will improve the army’s prestige in the long term, as well as help in "reinvigorating and strengthening" the country's democratic culture.

Earlier this week, General Bajwa handed over the baton of command to the newly-appointed Army Chief General Asim Munir Tuesday in a ceremony held at the GHQ.

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Moonis’ claims on Gen Bajwa raises doubts on institution’s apolitical narrative: Sanaullah

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