Keep army out of politics in country’s best interest, warns ISPR

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The military has warned politicians, journalists and analysts against dragging Pakistan Army and its leadership in the country’s political affairs, saying that the practice is “extremely damaging”.

“Recently there have been intensified and deliberate attempts to drag Pakistan’s Armed Forces and their leadership in ongoing political discourse in the country,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement on Sunday.

“These attempts are manifest through direct, insinuated or nuanced references to Armed Forces as well as their senior leadership, made by some political leaders, few journalists and analysts on public forums and various communication platforms including social media.”

The military’s media wing further said that this practice of unsubstantiated, defamatory and provocative statements /remarks is extremely damaging.

“Pakistan Armed Forces take strong exception to such unlawful and unethical practice and expect all to abide by the law and keep the Armed Forces out of political discourse in the best interest of the country,” it added.

The statement comes amid the heightened political activity in the country triggered by the ouster of PTI-led government through a vote of no-confidence last month with both former PM Imran Khan and ruling PML-N kicking off mass public campaigns.

Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema has also refused to endorse election of Punjab chief minister and sought military’s intervention to resolve the ‘constitutional crisis’ in the province.

“If army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa can provide me just one subedar and four soldiers, I will arrest this ‘unconstitutional, illegal and fake’ chief minister [Hamza Shehbaz] and send him to jail,” he said in a statement.

Similarly, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) also detained those allegedly involved in running smear campaigns on social media to defame the military and its top leadership after Imran Khan lost no-trust vote and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif became the prime minister.

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