Islamabad, May 13: Pakistani political parties do not seem to agree to the latest stance of the military establishment, which has maintained that it will not indulge in politics and will opt to stay apolitical and is relentlessly making direct and indirect comments to either pressure or force an intervention, a practice that has tainted the country’s political and democratic system for decades.
“The Army Chief should be a person who had a flawless reputation, free from any criticism or doubts,” she said.
Maryam Nawaz’s statement did not go down well among many quarters, including opposition parties, who have questioned the capacity of the PML-N leader to make such a comment on the appointment of the army chief.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif had said that the appointment of COAS is done after names with recommendations are sent by the military establishment, are reviewed.
Asif said that if the name of former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed will be on the seniority list, it would be considered for the Army Chief appointment.
Hameed, who is currently serving as Corps Commander Peshawar, came in the spotlight after rumours about his removal as the spy chief was opposed by former premier Imran Khan, who wanted to keep Hameed as the ISI chief, calling him his “eyes and ears” during a political crisis in the country and the situation in Afghanistan.
Hameed was considered to be close to Khan, which is why, PML-N leaders have been critical of him.
Maryam Nawaz said that Khan toppled after he lost support of Hameed.
“We know that he (Hameed) was not your (Khan) eyes and ears. Rather he was your hands through which you throttled your political opponents,” she said.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) was quick to respond to the ongoing indirect and direct criticism being done by senior political party leaders in public gatherings, urging all to not drag the army into politics.