Pakistan’s top military leadership said on Monday, Pakistan’s Independence Day, the army would not allow “inimical forces” to create divisions between the people of Pakistan and its armed forces, in a veiled reference to former Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Khan, now behind bars after being convicted earlier this month in a case involving the sale of state gifts, has been embroiled in a tussle with the military since he was removed from power last year in a parliamentary vote that he says was orchestrated by the country’s top generals. The military denies this.
The stand-off intensified when Khan’s supporters were involved in violent protests, including attacks on military installations, following his brief arrest on May 9. Thousands of the former premier’s supporters were subsequently arrested and hundreds of members of his party, including his closest aides, defected. The military and the government of then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have vowed to punish the perpetrators and instigators of the violence, including through military trials.
“Let us all pledge that irrespective of the challenges we face today, we will preserve and strengthen the peace, societal harmony and unity among the Nation,” the military’s media wing said in an Independence Day message from the services chiefs.
“We will not let inimical forces to succeed, which are hell bent to create fissures and division among the Armed Forces and people of Pakistan.”
President Dr. Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif also extended “heartfelt congratulations” to the nation in separate messages on Independence Day, Radio Pakistan reported.
This year August 14 coincides with the oathtaking of Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar as interim PM to oversee a general election after the dissolution of the lower house of parliament earlier this week.
The election is meant to be held within 90 days, by November, but uncertainty looms over the date as the nation grapples with constitutional, political and economic crises.
Kakar and his cabinet will run the government until a national election is held and the winner can secure a parliamentary majority and select a new prime minister.
Source : Arab News