Musharraf calls for extending tenure of Gen Raheel Sharif

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Musharraf says he is happy to see growing popularity of Gen Sharif because he was doing a “wonderful job”.—AFP/File
Musharraf says he is happy to see growing popularity of Gen Sharif because he was doing a “wonderful job”.—AFP/File

KARACHI: Former president retired General Pervez Musharraf called on Wednesday for extending the tenure of Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif and warned against a change in the military leadership. Otherwise, he said, “everything would go to waste”.

In an interview with Samaa TV, Mr Musharraf, who himself got five-year extension as army chief, said he was happy to see growing popularity of Gen Sharif because he was doing a “wonderful job” which needed to be continued.

“I wish he carries on with all this he is doing,” he said. “What he is doing right now, it needs continuity and if there is any change in the leadership amidst this all, all good work which has been done so far would go in waste. So I can only wish and suggest that he should stay there.”

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Gen Raheel Sharif is due to retire in November next year.

When asked if there was any “drought” in the military leadership that the departure of the army chief would create and everything good done so far would go to waste, Mr Mushrraf said there was always a difference among people and the country needed Gen Sharif to stay at his office.

“One needs to understand that there is a difference between people,” he said. “I don’t mean that there is a drought of leadership in army but I want to say that if he departs then every good work he has done would be wasted. Whenever he goes, everything he has done good, would be changed — there would be rigging again, National Accountability Bureau would step back and army courts would be wound up.”

When asked to comment on the crisis his old ally Muttahida Qaumi Movement was passing through, he said if any party or individual had done anything wrong they were answerable and the MQM was facing the same phase.

“I think the cases of money laundering and Dr Imran Farooq murder are coming to their conclusions,” he said. “You see MQM is the only urban political force in Sindh. You have to deal with that political force which represents millions of people. We must understand that there are majority of Mohajirs or Urdu speaking people in Karachi and they must be isolated from terrorists and extortionists.”

Published in Dawn, September 18th, 2015

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