Fazl tells army’s spokesman to stay away from politics


–JUI-F chief says statements made by Maj Gen Ghafoor should have come from a politician, not army’s spokesman


ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has asked the military’s chief spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, not to “involve himself in politics“, hours after the director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) called out the former to tell which institutions was he referring to in his speech to the Azadi March protesters on Friday night.

“When we don’t want a clash with institutions why has the DG ISPR tried to push the institution of the army towards a clash with the people?” the JUI-F chief said while talking to media.

“We don’t know on what basis he has issued the statement,” he said after attending a multi-party conference of opposition leaders at his residence late on Friday night.

Rehman said such a statement should have come from a politician instead of the military’s spokesman.

Earlier, speaking to media, the DG ISPR said the JUI-F chief should tell which institutions was he referring to in his speech to Azadi March protesters in Islamabad. “Maulana Fazl should take up his reservations with the concerned institutions,” said Maj Gen Ghafoor.

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

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

Gen Ghafoor 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”.

Addressing a massive gathering at the H-9 venue in the federal capital where the Azadi March culminated on Thursday, Maulana Fazl had said it will come down to the voters to decide the next move for the Azadi March.

“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”.