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Good news that COAS stands by democracy, Imran says after meeting Gen Bajwa

Updated Apr 01, 2017 06:52pm


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— DawnNews

Hours after the military tweeted about a meeting between the two, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan said on Saturday that Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa "stands by democracy".

He was speaking at an event about PTI's Billion Tree Tsunami project.

"The only thing I would like to say about the meeting is that the good news is that the army chief stands by democracy," Mr Khan said.

Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb termed the meeting as a positive development.

"It is a good step by Imran Khan and his approach towards integration is welcome," said the minister.

She added Imran should meet continue meeting stakeholders as the province of KP suffers from terrorism a refugee problem.

Social media was abuzz last night after Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted about the meeting saying:

Many Twitter users interpreted the news of the meeting as having a greater meaning while the country awaits the Supreme Court's verdict in the high-profile Panama Papers case embroiling the family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

While some dubbed the development as a "silent message", others questioned the capacity in which Mr. Khan met the head of the military.

While the ISPR provided no details about it, PTI's media cell said the hour-long meeting focused on national integrity and security. Discussions were also held on conditions prevailing in the region.

The army chief and the PTI chairman also discussed repatriation of Afghan refugees and the recent wave of terror attacks, added the political party's media cell.

Although the event was held to discuss his party's climate change initiative, Mr Khan was promptly asked a question about his meeting yesterday. He responded saying with a smile, "If I respond to this in detail, the headlines will be dominated by this and no one will talk about climate change."

'KP government has a hands-on approach against climate change'

“I am happy that the Khyber Pukhtunkhawa government has taken up this momentous task of dealing with climate change and has taken a hands-on approach towards it,” Mr Khan said while discussing the measures KP government is taking to protect its forests from the timber mafia.

Discussing the billion-tree project Mr Khan said, "I know it is hard to trust our statistics after the government regularly lies to you, but I can assure you the project will end by the end of 2017 and one billion trees will have been prated by that time."

Discussing the impact of climate change Mr Khan said that Pakistan has remained oblivious to this threat for a long time and the project, in the long run, will have a positive impact on the generations to come.

The Billion Tree Tsunami involves adding trees both by planting and natural regeneration all over KP.

It aims to turn around deforestation and increase the province's forested area by at least 2pc.

Years of tree felling have reduced Pakistan's forests to under 2pc of its land area, one of the lowest levels in the region, according to a 2015 UN Food and Agriculture Organisation report.

About 40pc of the country's remaining forests are in KP and in preparation for the reforestation effort, the provincial government helped set up a network of tree nurseries across the province in 2016, providing loans and purchase agreements for tree saplings.


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Comments (86) Closed

Shoaib Apr 01, 2017 02:00pm

The great Khan. Imran Khan

stranger Apr 01, 2017 02:01pm

So no hope for PTI for the next few years. Then Imran Khan retires from politics.

ABE Apr 01, 2017 02:02pm

Again, don't go by anyone's words. Watch his actions. That will speak volumes.

IK needs to learn how to read between the lines.

I am withholding judgement on Gen. Bajwa.

Hawris Apr 01, 2017 02:06pm

At least someone is talking about climate change..

DR.misbah (london) Apr 01, 2017 02:08pm

So were you happy to hear that IK?

Jamil Ahmed Apr 01, 2017 02:09pm

Just wait and see who is who and what is what !

abdul Apr 01, 2017 02:11pm

Even if army will support IK I will appreciate the step. I want to get rid of these looters. God help us save this country an our future future generations.

Asif kamil Apr 01, 2017 02:13pm

Sad news . Nothing is there to celebrate since all corrupt will always stay .

Ali Asghar Apr 01, 2017 02:26pm

For too long the two corrupt parties (Noon and PPP) have fed on this poor nations hard earned money and resources. Release of Ayan Ali, Dr Asim and return of Zardari and Memon is clear evidence of collaboration between the two. Democracy is clearly failing us.

PhIlosopher(from japan) Apr 01, 2017 02:38pm

It looks grapes are sour.

Princess_of_DHUMP Apr 01, 2017 02:42pm

Despite of your best efforts to convince him otherwise

Princess_of_DHUMP Apr 01, 2017 02:43pm

IK's facial expressions from the picture clearly tell how the meeting went.

Talha Apr 01, 2017 02:51pm

Climate Change will effect generations to come, politics will only effect a few in current times. Hopefully this myopic mentality would be shunned and a focus on issues that will impact our future generation s would be taken seriously. Intellectuals need to change their mentality to fight climate change.

Bashir Ahmad Apr 01, 2017 02:54pm

Congratulations to Imran Khan Sahib for starting the billion tree project. May it succeed like his other projects in the fields of health and education. Please spread it to the rest of the country . 'Dharnacracy' and looking towards the finger of the 'THIRD UMPIRE' is not going to get you or the nation any where. There is a Chinese saying, 'If you are planning for ten years,plant trees......,if you are planning for forty years,educate people...'

Naveed Apr 01, 2017 02:56pm

Bravo for climate change initiative and the re forestation. Our future generations are indept to you for these efforts.

ahmedj Apr 01, 2017 02:58pm

@Princess of DHUMP..."IK's facial expressions from the picture clearly tell how the meeting went"

Definitely you missed the lines where it says IK was attending an event of PTI's Billion Tree Tsunami project. The court's judgement next week is really making you nervous my dear princess.

m.Sethi Apr 01, 2017 03:04pm

Imran needs to make up his mind about whether he believes there is real democracy in our country,rigged elections or is it a Muk Muka that is going on between parties ?

He is apparently a literally a confused man !

Javed Apr 01, 2017 03:05pm

Imran Khan has set the bar real low, if he thinks it is 'Good News' that someone believes in doing what he is supposed to be doing in the first place.

imran Altaf Apr 01, 2017 03:12pm

Climate change is killing Pakistan and destroying the average persons health. I reckon before we can impliment changes to our political system our atmosphere will probably disappear.

Aamir Apr 01, 2017 03:15pm

A meeting is a meeting. IK, why you try to capitalize your sinking fortunes.

IAB Apr 01, 2017 03:18pm

Anyone good for democracy is not supposed to be good for Imran Khan ..........

L.Ahmad Apr 01, 2017 03:22pm

Yes, democracy Pakistan style provides equal opportunity for those in power.

Lahori.1 Apr 01, 2017 03:24pm

How is it a good news IK. How can the army chief be not with democracy, what other option does he have?? we are a civilized people, we have a constitution a democracy. Nothing else but the will of the people should reign supreme. The people of Pakistan have entrusted the COAS with the responsiblity to defend them. And it is the poor people of Pakistan who are sustaining their perks and priviliges. Going against democracy will be a gross insult and treason to the people of Pakistan.

Dil Dil Pakistan Apr 01, 2017 03:33pm

Army always stand by Pakistan.

Sameer Apr 01, 2017 03:35pm

A billion tree tsunami is just what the world needs. We are with you lala.

saquib Apr 01, 2017 03:36pm

Corruption should not be allowed in Pakistan and IK is struggling for that, so we support him for next.

Sameer Apr 01, 2017 03:40pm

@PrincessofDHUMP Imran Khan is doing a good job. So far no commissions on tree plantation (source:wwf). Atleast he didnt throw in twice of Azad Kashmir's budget on the single Orange Train Project. Dont worry, inshallah all the Kings and prince will be behind bars.

alien Apr 01, 2017 03:41pm

Is it that Democracy which always get into trouble when investigation starts about corruption of the great politicians???? What democracy????

Faraz Chaudhry Apr 01, 2017 03:41pm

My request and appeal to all Pakistanis please stand behind Imran. He is thousands times better than corrupt Nawaz and Zrdari. I have no doubt that if IK become PM he will bring reasonable difference for better Pakistan.

Sameer Apr 01, 2017 03:53pm

@Lahori.1 you are confusing kleptocracy with democracy. Obama's children are not secretaries of state or defense. Neither are Francis Hollande's or Angele Merkel's. Over here my entire family either heads a party(ppp) or heads a country(pmln).

Sameer Apr 01, 2017 03:56pm

@Bashir Ahmad 13million children arent going to school in punjab. 2500 ghost schools in Sindh. What a way to educate.

Kamran Apr 01, 2017 03:59pm

Poor people will continue to be poor. If they start worrying about things other than food in their bellies they may start questioning our politicians. Best we keep them poor.this is finest democracyand yes our generals support it.

Azmeen Apr 01, 2017 04:00pm

Nothing new.

Muhammed Ali UK Apr 01, 2017 04:03pm

True Patriots both of them, Pakistan 1st and Pakistan last..Well done.

Gul Apr 01, 2017 04:19pm

Under what capacity he met with COAS and vice versa? Any law supports this meeting?

Syed zafar kazmi u.s.a Apr 01, 2017 04:19pm

@Hawris Sure and we all know that he is only all talk about anything & every thing.

Ashraf Siddiqui Apr 01, 2017 04:34pm

@Shoaib disappointed Khan

The end is near Apr 01, 2017 04:36pm

IK is the true visionary and honest leader to make Pakistan great.

Zak Apr 01, 2017 04:37pm

W e pray he is the next PM to take pakistan forward as the new pakistan.

sanam Apr 01, 2017 04:41pm

"Good news that COAS stands by democracy " Bad news for PTI as they have to wait for the next elections.... and no chance of backdoor entry.

Syed zafar kazmi u.s.a Apr 01, 2017 04:52pm

@The end is near. Yeah, that is why he is always waiting for the " umpire's finger" to rise.

PANAMA Apr 01, 2017 04:53pm

@stranger With all the hopefuls being corrupt polticians, leading the nation into a downward spiral of lawlessness, hunger and ever degrading health facilities.

Lahori.1 Apr 01, 2017 05:13pm

@Sameer Sure but only the poeple of Pakistan have the right to oust them. Let the people decide.

M.Saeed Apr 01, 2017 05:16pm

Hope not an umpire's finger again!

Jamil Apr 01, 2017 05:30pm

@Lahori.1 At present Pakistan is not a democratic country, but IK is struggling to introduce democracy in the country in its true essence. It is in this context that I IK was mentioning that COAS stands for democracy and not the pseudo democracy which is being practiced at the moment in Pakistan.

Pk Apr 01, 2017 05:32pm

Why did he feel compelled to say that?

Abida Subhan Apr 01, 2017 05:35pm

@Naveed : Bravo for climate change initiative and the re forestation. Our future generations are indept to you for these efforts..

Yes forestation is the most important issue because without education our future generations need to go back and live in forests..

Muneer Apr 01, 2017 05:40pm

The statement of IK could be interpreted both favorably and unfavorably.

Ayaz Mirza Apr 01, 2017 05:46pm

By you don't stand by democracy.

faraxi Apr 01, 2017 05:57pm

IK Zindabad.. all I know is that he had a lot of chances all his life to come into power in some shape or form. however he passed it. He is a true leader, unlike the rulling family of lotaras.. I hope he gets a chance in power and does good. All the best IK.

Asmat Jamal Apr 01, 2017 05:59pm

One reason could be, once again could be:---

Please accept decision whatever it may be.

Khan Apr 01, 2017 06:00pm

@stranger Asad Umar's leadership is mature & visionary than Imran Khan

ga Apr 01, 2017 06:05pm

Wasn't IK asking for the 'third empire' to depose Sharif?

Ali Khan Apr 01, 2017 06:07pm

Good to see a leader actually worrying about Pakistan's future generations. Other leaders only care about their own future generations. Like Naeem Bukhari I have to say that I absolutely adore Imran Khan.

Pakistan Political Formula Apr 01, 2017 06:14pm

5 year pmln but backs ppp, than 5 years ppp backs pmln. This is the democracy in Pakistan....

Athar Apr 01, 2017 06:29pm

Good news. No finger raise this time.

Tariq Apr 01, 2017 06:31pm

I think one point will be former COAS new assignment and PTI reservation of it. On the other hand it will time which will unfold the things discussed in the meeting.

Pk Apr 01, 2017 06:39pm

@Pakistan Political Formula US has done this for 200 years and they are just fine.

Pk Apr 01, 2017 06:41pm

@Sameer What about Trump who I believe is the current President.

Ob Apr 01, 2017 07:11pm

Alas! If only our politicians also supported real democracy. Time for all sides to put word into action (or inaction in case of the army). For the politicians as good start would be for all parties to introduce internal democratic selection process for the leaderahip and putting an end to hereditary party leadership.

Truth sayer Apr 01, 2017 07:20pm

Excellent news. Pakistan's legend n the Founder of the biggest party PTI meets the Chief of Pakistan Army..

It is the interest of Pak that Imran Khan and Army chief meets n workout problems for Pakistan.

For people who r making senseless comments - should realize that Imran Khan is the single most popular leader in Pak n has one of the biggest following in the world..

His party is in power in one of the Province in Pak - which thru their efforts n hard work is now the best province is Pakistan.

It is imperative that all stakeholders meet n stay in touch to new n changing world. It's the best way to be updated n work together..

So stop spreading nonsense n be happy for Pakistan.

qayum zada Apr 01, 2017 07:32pm

For too long the two corrupt parties (Noon and PPP) have fed on this poor nations hard earned money and resources. Release of Ayan Ali, Dr Asim and return of Zardari and Memon is clear evidence of collaboration between the two. Democracy is clearly failing us.

Well Commented Mr.Ali Azghar.

Pragmatic approach Apr 01, 2017 07:41pm

Good news ok,but what about cancers in democracy. Please find some way to keep democracy neat & clean from cancerous elements.

Good News Apr 01, 2017 07:48pm

It is really a good news that in a country like Pakistan COAS stands by democracy and believe in 'Pakistan First' too.

rich Apr 01, 2017 08:32pm

tree plantation is a very nobel cause all support fot IK

but 1 billion tree, means at 10000 tree per sq km, it will be 100000 sq km of land

will ik replant 100000 sq km of land, its probale bigger them KP, or almost as big as sind

Iftikhar Bhutta Apr 01, 2017 08:40pm

No positive change of political behaviour can be expected from meeting between COAS and Imräñ Khan .

Ahmed Apr 01, 2017 08:41pm

I dont like the way he is trying to come in power, but one thing is for sure some of his initiatives like the billion tree tsunami are worth praising, good job Sir

Liaqat Khan Apr 01, 2017 09:20pm

Please wait for your turn

Hafeez, Canada Apr 01, 2017 09:32pm

Which democracy ?? Zardari one or Nawaz one ???

stevenson Apr 01, 2017 09:45pm

@abdul - There has been more stability and development the last few years under democracy than ever in recent Pakistani history so you should think again. Nawaz Sharif has done a great job with the economy but if you disagree, vote him out. Think about long term stability and why this nation has been upgraded by all financial houses in the world. Imran Khan is only good for Dharna and protests and himself. He cares more about his ego than Pakistan.

HYDERABADI Apr 01, 2017 09:54pm

I believe General till he comes to his retirement time. God bless Pakistan

Disparate Apr 01, 2017 10:49pm

@PrincessofDHUMP 'Despite of your best efforts to convince him otherwise'

Spot on!

SaYyid Apr 01, 2017 11:09pm

I am from Karachi & a die heart supporter of MQM, living in Canada now. I just want to say Imran is a honest leader.

Abdul Rahman khan Apr 02, 2017 12:07am

I am sure before the Supreme Court's judgement, the next meeting with COAS will be with Nawaz Sharif. General Bajwa wants complete peace and asks both the parties to accept the judgement wholehearetedly.There was no indication as to who is going to win in the meeting but COAS's advice to both the leaders is, presumably, peace and only peace after the judgement.

Khanm Apr 02, 2017 12:18am

Pal say what u want to say ..but the truth of the matter is ...the upper hand is always the military. Or else u won't be talking to them...

Common man Apr 02, 2017 12:51am

How it is a good news for IK that army chief support democracy while IK know he could never become pm thru democracy. There is something fishy about this meeting. Before IK show same level of happiness after meeting modi. God bless Pakistan

tamza Apr 02, 2017 01:28am

@PrincessofDHUMP Genius. But we should have a video to really assess it. Since when have words like this lasted - they can say the 'situation' changed, and we had to step forward for the future of democracy in the republic

Sameer Apr 02, 2017 04:24am

@Lahori.1 I am confident that the dirt can no longer hide behind the silence of helplessness of the people. One way or the other the corrupt are going to face their demise...with or without the states consent.

Kamran Apr 02, 2017 04:27am

@Pk this is funny. Instead of focusing on tree planting news,everyone in gov is concerned about where Gen. Bajwa stands. Imran gave a reasonable answer. Let us wait till panama.

Mohan Apr 02, 2017 05:11am

It is good in long term for Pakistan to trust in democracy. India also have corrupt politicians. But progress had been faster and of late at least some are going to jail and some losing power. Patience, brothers.

Changez Khan Apr 02, 2017 06:33am

Imran Khan will never ever be the PM of Pakistan. He needs to stop these dramas and dharnas.

Defective detective Apr 02, 2017 08:59am

@Faraz Chaudhry "Stand behind IK?". The queue (in which you and me dont have a place), is long. He came late, so he is at the end of the queue. He tried everything for queue jumping with help from previous coas, his chances are diminishing every minute. Why should we stand behind him?

riz Apr 02, 2017 09:37am

really really sad to see this news,, a one liner got the headlines and more important issue "'KP government has a hands-on approach against climate change'" missed all out,, or you should have made Billion tree initiative as a different package highlighting the job well done,,

asad lateef Apr 02, 2017 12:23pm

@Sameer take one tree to your home

Syed Apr 02, 2017 11:31pm

Thank you Khan sahib for breaking such a good news. We believe it. But we are not sure if you stand behind the democratic system.

talha tasadduq Apr 03, 2017 01:40pm

At least someone knows that deforestation is a threat to our environment. Let's see how we keep up with afforestation policy.