Party defends banner drive, seeks Gen Sharif’s extension

Published July 14, 2016
Barrister Fayaz Ahmed  Samor, secretary general of Move On Pakistan, Sindh, speaks during the press conference on Wednesday. ─ Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
Barrister Fayaz Ahmed Samor, secretary general of Move On Pakistan, Sindh, speaks during the press conference on Wednesday. ─ Fahim Siddiqi/White Star

KARACHI: Move On Pakistan (MOP) has said they are not looking for the Pakistan Army to carry out a coup, neither do they want a martial law. What they really want is an extension for Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif for him to be able to complete the good work, which he has started before he retires and goes home.

Feeling the need of the hour of presenting their point of view amid the speculation over their banners urging General Sharif to either drop the idea of going or asking him to come, MOP’s Sindh chapter called a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Wednesday.

Introducing themselves, Barrister Fayaz Ahmed Samor, secretary general of MOP, Sindh, said that they were a party registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan but they were not really about conventional politics.

“We are more about civic sense. And consider our press conference today as a rebuttal of what is being said about us that maybe we are demanding a coup or welcoming martial law,” he said clarifying their side.

“So far General Raheel Sharif is the only one who has been able to deliver. So we have pinned our hopes for a better future on him. Sometime back there was so much confusion about his upcoming retirement that it created a kind of hype. That was when we, also, started our campaign where we said ‘Khuda ke liye jaane ki baatein jaane do’ [For God’s sake stop all this talk about leaving].

“The slogan, we printed on Panaflex banners, which were put up in many prominent places where they could not be missed easily. We also organised seminars in this regard but strangely we didn’t get the response that we were hoping to get from the Army or the Army chief,” Barrister Fayaz shared at the press conference.

“Now we published new banners with a stronger message that reads ‘Jaane ki baatein hui purani, Khuda ke liye ab ajao’ [The talks about leaving are past now, for God’s sake, just come]. And suddenly the media took notice of this. The Inter Services Public Relations also had a say about it,” he added.

Taking over from Barrister Fayaz, Abdul Majeed Pathan, president of MOP’s Sindh chapter, said that they saw nothing new happening in the general elections of 2018.

“There will be the same politicians and the same discontent nation. The poor will continue to become poorer as the rich will invest abroad. General Sharif is our only ray of hope here. He has been doing good work. Generals, anyway, don’t leave the battlefield till the battle is over so we don’t want General Sharif to walk away leaving things half done. He should be given an extension for him to be able to completely wipe out corruption and terrorism from Pakistan,” said Mr Pathan.

“See where street crime is today and what it was before General Sharif. See how relaxed the business community is today, unlike before General Sharif. It is all because of him. Therefore, we want him to stay on and we want Pakistan Army under him to groom the youth of Pakistan in ways of running this country’s institutions. We want Pakistanis to invest in Pakistan, and not think of going abroad. We want peace in Pakistan. We want our health and education sectors to flourish,” he explained.

To a question about why the MOP party does not have faith in the next general who will take over from General Sharif after his retirement as being from the Army also, he, too, will surely carry on with the good work, Barrister Fayaz said that there were unfit and incompetent people everywhere.

“Who knows what kind of a man will take over after him. We want a strong general like General Sharif, and not one who is the government’s puppet,” he said.

“We have a good thing going here with General Sharif. He has proved himself already. Besides when General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani can be given a three-year extension after completing his term then why can’t General Sharif get one also?” he questioned.

The press conference also included a large number of MOP party members, who referred to themselves as volunteers looking to generate positive thinking among the people of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2016

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