Army is ‘impartial’: ISPR


–Gen Ghafoor says Opp should take up concerns with relevant institutions rather than airing dirty laundry in public

Hours after Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, without naming, warned institutions not to meddle in political affairs in the wake of the Azadi March, Pakistan Army’s chief spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor said the military was an “apolitical” institution, warning the opposition leaders against levelling allegations.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Ghafoor said that the Pakistan Army has always supported the incumbents and that the army has nothing to do with politics.

He said that the issues faced by the country must be solved in a democratic framework.

In a statement, the military spokesperson asked the JUI-F chief to name the institutions he was referring to and said that the opposition leaders needed to take up their reservations to the relevant institutions.

He added that the army was an “impartial” institution.

Referring to the deployment of the troops during the general elections last year, he said that the military fulfilled its “constitutional” responsibility.

He said that the Pakistan Army and the nation made immense “sacrifices” for peace and stability in the country and that the opposition should not make such statements that go against the “national interest”.

He also said that the military was busy at the eastern [India] and western [Afghanistan] borders of the country.

“There is tension on the eastern border, while anti-terrorism operation Raddul Fasaad is also going on in the tribal areas,” he said, adding that the military was “befittingly” responding to the Indian aggression.

Addressing a massive gathering at the H-9 venue in the federal capital where the Azadi March culminated on Thursday, Maulana Fazl said that it will come down to the voters to decide the next move for the Azadi March. He said that the vote of the public was “stolen” hence it will be for the people to decide the strategy for the protest.

“This mammoth crowd has the power to arrest the prime minister from his residence,” Fazl warned.

“We will not be able to exercise any patience after that point,” he said, calling upon the country’s “institutions” to remain impartial to avoid “conflict”.