Gen Sharif vows to preserve army’s dignity ‘at all costs’

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  • Army chief says armed forces respect all institutions and will also preserve its dignity and institutional pride
  • Analysts, political leaders reiterate need for mutual respect between govt and armed forces

 

In what is being taken as a veiled warning to the government in wake of criticism of the armed forces in the recent days, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif on Monday said the army respects all the institutions of the country but it will also preserve its own dignity and institutional pride at all costs.

Gen Sharif’s statement is most likely related to the treason trial of former army chief Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf. It was earlier reported that the army chief had advised the government to let Musharraf go abroad for his medical treatment and to look after his ailing mother.

While addressing officers at the army’s Special Services Group (SSG) Headquarters in Tarbela, the army chief said Pakistan Army has contributed immensely towards national security and nation building and will continue to deliver on its mission.

“The army never has and never will shy away from rendering any sacrifice in ensuring a formidable defence and security of the motherland,” he was quoted as saying in an ISPR press release.

Last month, a special court indicted Musharraf on five counts of treason over his suspension of the constitution and imposition of Emergency in 2007, when he was trying to extend his rule. Musharraf’s indictment has broken an unwritten rule that the top ranks of the military are untouchable. He has pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted.

NOTHING AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT:

Commenting on Gen Sharif’s statement, defence analysts dispelled the impression that the army chief’s statement was a warning for the government, adding that it was apparently aimed at lifting the morale of troops.

These views were expressed by former IB chief Masood Sharif Khattak, Brig (r) Mahmood Shah and senior journalist and TV commentator Syed Talat Hussain.

Commenting on the issue, Talat Hussain said that the ISPR’s statement could be in response to the recent remarks made by two federal ministers, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Khawaja Asif, separately in the National Assembly and in a television talk show.

Hussain said that there were rumours that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wanted to adopt a Turkish model to deal with former generals.

“There is a feeling in the army that despite its support for the continuation of democracy, the institution was being maligned,” he said adding that Gen Sharif may have found it more convenient to issue a statement instead of taking it up with the prime minister directly.

On the federal ministers’ remarks, former IB chief Masood Khattak said, “Every state institution should try to avoid a clash or misunderstanding. The prime minister has taken a notice of the statements made by two ministers.”

Pakistan is heading towards political maturity, however it seems that some people are still trying to instigate a clash, he said rejecting the notion that Gen Sharif’s statement was a warning by the army.

Brigadier Masood Shah said that army was a very sensitive institution and the issue of Musharraf’s trial could hurt the sentiments of the common troops.

“In my opinion, political government should be on the driving seat in general. But it does not mean that one should try to undermine an institution like army,” he said. However, he too denied the COAS’s statement as being a warning for the government, adding that there should not be any opinion which targeted army as an institution.

RESPECT IS IMPORTANT:

Commenting on Gen Sharif’s statement, Mutahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Faisal Sabzwari told Pakistan Today that it was the responsibility of all the state institutions to accord due respect to each other to safeguard the democratic system.

“How could the dignity and respect of state institutions be ensured if ‘selective justice’ is accorded to a former army chief,” he questioned adding, ”If you want to try Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution, this trial should start from October 12, 1999 and not from Nov 3, 2007.”

Moreover, Sabzwari argued, “Even if you want to save the skin of some blue-eyed, the trial must include all abettors and facilitators. Why a single man is being tried and why all clauses of Article 6 are not being observed?”

He said that no state institution including the armed forces should be targeted and no scapegoats should be made. He said for the sake of saving the democratic system, the dignity of all state institutions should be protected and preserved.

Independent Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Jamshed Dasti said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had not learnt the lesson from his bitter past and was trying to confront the army again.

Talking to reporters outside the Parliament House, Dasti said that if Musharraf was being tried in high treason case, then his predecessors should be also brought to court. He alleged that the premier and his cabinet did not give importance to suggestions and concerns of parliamentarians and took all decisions on their own.

Pakistan Today made repeated attempts to get the government’s view on the army chief’s statement but Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid remained inaccessible. 

14 COMMENTS

  1. The General must never forget that Army is a department of the Government and is run through Taxpayers money..

    Like all other Armies of the civilized world, he has to accept the civilian supremacy.

    He should never even think of committing another high treason to save a traitor from punishment. Army has an honor only & only when Pakistan has an honor. Everyone has to bow in front of the Law!

    • holi pai ji! Ini strong govt aay ty foreign policy kiun nae banandi? aida tu "civilian supremacy"

      wekhaya si aapa jadoun civilian supremacy si 2008 tu 2013.

  2. Yes general Raheel shairi please release Musharraf he is innocent and didn’t do anything wrong instead of Musharraf please put zardari and Nawaz sharif in gaddari case. And bring martial law to this country Thank you.

  3. No need for pinning our hopes on this "Yes" man. I guess we'll have to wait for a real General to come forward and take over. Kiayani did a good job grooming cowards to lead the army.

  4. I think the prime Minister is a complete idiot . His brother who has the brain dictates and implement day today government policy
    Mussharaf is charged for being a traitor . How a person served for many years in the army can be a traitor
    All zarderies and shareef family milked money moved their assets overseas are traitors .They should be tried

  5. aithay rakh! hun chupo, Sharifooo!

    suto baar sharifan nu. bithao Mushi nu PM di seat ty. ajeeb topi darama shuru kita aay, aidy shareef raindy nae kidray!

    P.S. By sharifoo i mean NS/SS!

  6. The pseudo-intellectuals pumping the Army to indulge into illegal activity have their own axe to grind and vested interest in destabilizing the country.

    Seeing Musharraf about to meet his logical end (indictment under article-6, after dozens of Court avoidances on lame excuses), their London-based leader, Altaf Hussain, has invited Army to takeover. This is, of course, not for the love or respect for the Army. If it were the love for Army, their British leader would have never written letter to British Prime Minister, Tony Blair on 23-09-2001 to disband Pakistan’s ISI.
    You can read the letter signed by Altaf Londonvi at http://www.incpak.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/

    The letter has been confirmed by the British Government as written by Altaf Londonvi http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2013/07/11/altaf-

    These ethnic-opportunists of Mustaqil Qaumi Museebat (MQM) have never supported General Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan or even General Zia-ul-Haq in unequivocal terms. The hate speeches and conspiracies of their British leader are not forgotten by the people in Pakistan.

    During the Operation launched by General Asif Nawaz Janjua, their leader flew to UK on the pretext treatment of acute ailment in 1992, but never returned during the last 22 years, despite being part of the different successive governments during the two decades.

    Having their Lifetime leader in UK but controlling Karachi through remote control, they have most of their members being dual citizens of UK or Canada.

  7. We highly honour our Pak Army, We salute our Armed Forces for there role in Pakistan. Chief “Raheel Sharif” Cheeta the way he respond and acts, we love you. Cheeta.

  8. We love our Pak Army from the core of my Heart , once l have applied for PMA 79 long cource,not recomended by selection bord the reasons best known. Still i love the persons in uniform, they are the Defenders and laid down there lifes for the Pride of there Country, inshallah All Mighty will always keep there Pride, dignity and honour.Pak Army Zindabad.

  9. Respect is always be honoured for the instituations, if we pay respect to each and every institute, in return we get equal respect. Parliament should avoid from heart burning speaches against any institution, in future. Nobody knows how much respect and Honour we the Nation got for our Armed Forces. We love our Armed Forces from the core of our Hearts, because they are from us and we are for them.

  10. Many things said by Politicians are against the norms of law, when the matter relating to any body is subjudice no body has got the right to talk outside or before the media. Some talks have made the cases default .

  11. The head of State has to focus on National Issues, not on petty. Matters one should realize that Power issue, is the hot issue, The second big issue is that. India is making dams on our Dams water. The third issue is Blochistan, The fourth issue is. Karachi terrorism. How to generate economic power without begging. Not on revenge. Think and make corruption free, Nepotisim free, Hipocracy free Pakistan, where poor not just die for that one could not able to pay his utility bills, not able to pay tuation fee of his child. Where Politicians with kick backs making never ending greed multiplied .etc etc etc . Think for common men! Dont make general public to suffer by political stunts,

  12. The war between 3 big.? 1st Pervaiz Mushraf. 2nd. X. CJP Ifthkar Ch 3rd Nawaz Sharif. The war of. Nerves, the guredge enmity.The people of Pakistan are tense. Who so ever does the mischief, has to pay the penalty. One has to face the music very soon? Lets pry for better.

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