Nawaz cancels Zardari meeting after anti-military outburst

Published June 17, 2015
PM Nawaz said criticism of the armed forces encourages destabilising factors in the country. — File Photo
PM Nawaz said criticism of the armed forces encourages destabilising factors in the country. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: After the anti-military remarks made by Asif Ali Zardari yesterday, the prime minister was left with no option but to call off today’s meeting the PPP co-chairman, said Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid.

The information minister said Zardari should have shown some care in his selection of words. “It’s not wise to pass such statements when the military is tackling militancy and terrorism,” he added.

Rashid maintained that national security institutions deserve respect, adding that it was "our duty and obligation to honour the services and sacrifices rendered by our security forces."

After Zardari tirade, Nawaz stands by military

A day after Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairperson and former president Asif Ali Zardari unleashed his tirade against the military leadership, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday stepped in to defend the armed forces.

The statement from PM House quoted Nawaz as saying during a meeting on political consultations that criticism of the armed forces encourages destabilising factors in the country, adding that under the current circumstances criticising the armed forces was not an appropriate step.

He further said that the operation against terrorism is in its critical stages, adding that national unity was the need of hour.

"Coordination between the civilian and military leadership has strengthened democracy. This harmony is evident in the decisions taken by the All Parties Conferences (APC) during which the civilian and military leadership set joint national targets," the statement said.

Nawaz also underscored that the process should continue with the same passion.

In an uncharacteristically aggressive speech, Zardari on Tuesday lashed out against what he called “the character assassination of his party” and warned the military leadership that if they did not stop, he would expose the misdeeds of many generals.

The former president said army chiefs come and go every three years but the political leadership was here to stay. “We know the country better and we know how to run its affairs," he stressed.

Take a look: Zardari threatens to expose generals’ ‘misdeeds’

Khawaja Asif condemns Asif Zardari's statements

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif hassaid on Wednesday that the language used by PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari regarding the army does not befit a former president.

Fed govt assures Senate that Sindh govt won't be dislodged

The federal government assured the Senate that there is no plan to dislodge the Sindh government.

"The government could have dislodged the Sindh government when there were daily target killings," State Minister for Interior Baligur Rehman told Senate in response to a call attention notice moved by PPP over the raid conducted by Sindh Rangers on Karachi Building Control Authority.

The notice, which was moved by PPP senator Farhatullah Babar, said that the Rangers' raid on the Karachi Building Control Authority and other offices on Monday amounted to taking over the functions of the provincial government, and questioned the motives of the paramilitary force behind its overzealous but illegal drive.

He said that the Rangers had been requisitioned in Karachi under Article 147 of the Constitution and under Section 4 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) specifically to prevent the commission of terrorist acts and other scheduled offences in notified areas.

"Issues in corruption and governance must be addressed resolutely without fear or favour through legal institutions like NAB, PAC, anti-corruption departments and courts and not by resorting to illegality," he said.

He said under its mandate duly notified, the Rangers have no business to take cognisance of offences like violation of building codes, developmental projects and issues in governance as these were neither acts of terrorism nor included in the scheduled offences.

It also needs to be investigated as to whether there was a method in what appears to be madness, he said.

He said that the raids by masked Rangers personnel on government offices and an earlier public rebuke of the political set-up by the corps commander indicated a pattern and a method.

A plan seems afoot to dislodge the provincial government and let the security dominated apex committee and Rangers take over its functions, he said.

Read: Billions of black money being used to fund terrorism in Karachi: Rangers chief

As per reports, he said, recently some agencies had demanded thousands of acres of land from the provincial government which the latter declined and wondered if this too was a factor in the building of the present hype.

Babar said that everyone salutes the sacrifices of Rangers jawans, but that it could not be permitted to do politics using sacrifices of jawans as the basis.

Speaking to Dawn.com after the Senate session, Babar said that Zardari is expected to meet PM Nawaz today to discuss the overall situation of Sindh. Later, PPP sources told Dawn.com that the meeting would not take place due to personal engagements of the two leaders.

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