Military leadership’s support for democratic institutions should not be misconstrued as weakness: minister
Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Friday warned that Pakistan could head towards “anarchy” if the “institution of the army was divided or weakened”.
In a series of tweets on Friday, Fawad reiterated the government’s stance that the special court’s verdict against former military ruler General (retd) Pervez Musharraf was part of a “specific strategy targeting the army”.
The three-judge bench – comprising Justice Waqar Ahmad Seth, Justice Nazar Akbar and Justice Shahid Karim – convicted Musharraf of high treason and sentenced him to death on December 17.
“This is not just about Pervez Musharraf; the Pakistan Army was targeted as per a specific strategy. First, the army and ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] were involved in the [Tehreek-e-Labbaik] sit-in case, then the army chief’s extension was made controversial, and now a famous former army chief has been humiliated.”
Fawad continued, “The sequence of events is now more than just a judicial or legal matter. If the institution of the army is divided or weakened, then the country cannot be saved from anarchy.”
The minister said the incumbent army chief and military leadership have stood by Pakistan’s democratic institutions, but warned that their support “should not be misconstrued as weakness”.
In the same vein, the PM’s special assistant Firdous Ashiq Awan also stressed the need for harmony and mutual trust amongst state institutions.
“Strong institutions are imperative for Pakistan’s progress, promotion of democracy, and welfare of the masses,” she said in a series of tweets.
She said PM Imran and the military leadership were collectively steering the country through a plethora of challenges, and Pakistan was now on the track of economic stability and development.
“External elements and their internal stooges will fail in their nefarious designs to weaken the institutions and stoke instability in the country,” said Firdous.
The statements by the cabinet members are in line with the stance taken by the army and PM Imran on the Musharraf treason verdict.
On Thursday, the prime minister also termed the decision “an attempt to create anarchy and unrest in the country”.
“The government will not allow any situation, which creates instability in the country or a clash between institutions, to arise,” the prime minister said while addressing a meeting of the Media Strategy Committee on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the military also took strong exceptions to the special court’s detailed judgement against Musharraf.
“The detailed judgement, especially the choice of words, is beyond the basic values of religion, humanity and civilisation,” the chief military spokesperson, Major General Asif Ghafoor, had told an unscheduled media briefing on Thursday – shortly after the special court issued its detailed judgement.
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