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Dragging military leadership in political discourse damaging: ISPR

The military has said that attempts to drag it in the country’s politics by “some political leaders, journalists and analysts” were damaging.

A press release issued by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday noted that attempts to involve the armed forces and its senior leadership in the political discourse were “manifest through direct, insinuated or nuanced references made by some political leaders, few journalists and analysts on public forums and various communication platforms, including social media”.

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“This practice of unsubstantiated, defamatory and provocative statements/remarks is extremely damaging,” the ISPR said. It added that the military took strong exception to such “unlawful and unethical practices” and expected everyone to abide by the law and keep the armed forces out of political discourse in the “best interest of the country”.

The ISPR statement did not specify which incident(s) it was referring to, but it comes after weeks of heightened political activity in the country, involving the issue of the former prime minister Imran Khan’s removal from power.

It is also pertinent to mention here that Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema had sought the army’s intervention to lead the province out of crises plaguing it for months despite the armed forces repeatedly refusing to be pushed into the country’s perpetual political quagmire.

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On Thursday, the governor wrote a letter to Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, requesting him to play a defining role in the current chaotic times, as he was of the opinion that the constitutional crisis-ridden Punjab had been held hostage.

Last month, senior retired army officials termed audio clips attributed to them, in which statements were given against the Pakistan Army and its leadership, “fake” and a “conspiracy against the Pakistan Army”.

The clarifications from the retired army officials had come two days after the country’s military leadership took notice of an ongoing “propaganda campaign” against the army on social media and endorsed the position taken by the army’s leadership on the political crisis in the country that climaxed with former premier Imran Khan’s ouster.

The military came under criticism last month, especially in the wake of Imran’s ouster through a successful vote of no-confidence. Trends against the armed forces and its leadership saw intense activity on social media platforms such as Twitter.

The ‘Imported Hukoomat Namanzur’ (imported government unacceptable) hashtag in Urdu alone generated a volume of 17 million tweets, while one anti-army hashtag generated over 69,000 tweets and a similar one over 410,000 tweets in the past few days, according to reports.

The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had also launched a crackdown on those allegedly involved in running these online campaigns and was making arrests.

The watchdog has also initiated an inquiry against anchorperson Sami Ibrahim for allegedly transmitting “anti-state” videos and statements on various social media platforms, including those regarding the army.

Also, at a recent public gathering, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz said that former prime minister Imran Khan only lasted in office for over three years as he had the support of a former intelligence officer.

“When the government lost his support, it fell instantly,” she said.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It is a planned campaign against the army to just benefit the Modi doctrine and horribly such people and their supporters have not been fixed,among the leaders of such illicit and unlawful campaigns are the highly politicized politicians and their kids.
    Their benefit are going to India and the modi version and need immediate stop,Pakistan cannot afford such ugly things at the cost of the Pakistan.

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