Pakistani military establishment not taking sides in current political crisis: Shebhaz Sharif

Shehbaz Sharif also insisted that while opposition parties wanted him to be interim prime minister, the final decision would be made by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

Shehbaz Sharif also insisted that while opposition parties wanted him to be interim prime minister, the final decision would be made by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

Opposition Leader in Pakistan’s Parliament, Shehbaz Sharif, has reiterated that the powerful military establishment does not take sides in the current political crisis in the country and the vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

speaking on SAMAATV‘s show’ Nadeem Malik LiveOn Friday evening, Mr Sharif spoke openly about several thorny issues, including his ties to the military, the appointment of a new army chief, electoral reforms and the role of the military in the current political situation. .

Shehbaz Sharif, who is the chairman of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and younger brother of three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif, also insisted that although opposition parties want him to be the Acting Prime Minister, the final decision would be made. by PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif.

About 100 MPs from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) tabled a no-confidence motion before the National Assembly Secretariat on March 8, alleging that the Pakistani government Tehreek- e-Insaaf (PTI) led by Mr. Khan was responsible for the current economic crisis and soaring inflation in the country.

The National Assembly session for the move is expected to be convened on March 21 and the vote is expected to take place on March 28.

During the SAMAATV interview, Mr Sharif was asked about the role of the establishment in the current scenario – to which he said opposition members had not received phone calls from anyone so far. “No one told me they got a call [from the establishment].” He said Imran Khan used to say that when the referee becomes neutral everything becomes fair, but now he used words that “I can’t put on my tongue”. He was referring to a recent statement by the Prime Minister that humans take sides and that ‘only animals are neutral’.

The young Sharif said he has always maintained good relations with all the army chiefs in the country, as he served as a bridge between Rawalpindi [Army headquarter] and Islamabad [seat of the political government].

In response to a question about appointing the next army chief when the incumbent’s term expires in November, or granting an extension to the current chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Mr Shehbaz said “It’s a premature question” and be taken into consideration when the time comes in the national interest.

Despite being asked several times, he refused to answer the question if an “extension would be on the table”. He said that after winning the no-confidence motion against Imran Khan, the opposition would quickly review and improve electoral reforms, including the right to vote for Pakistanis abroad. He accused Imran Khan of bulldozing electoral reform legislation through parliament and the opposition would make the appropriate changes.

He said that overseas Pakistan must get the right to vote but in a way that one party does not get all the benefits and everyone gets a level playing field. Mr Shehbaz confirmed that they plan to reserve a seat in the National Assembly and Senate for overseas Pakistanis.

Shehbaz Sharif said he didn’t know about it’ minus Imran Khan’s formula‘, but if Imran Khan is not removed from politics using political and constitutional methods, the future of Pakistan is in jeopardy because under him, Pakistan has experienced ‘the worst governance and the worst delivery’ of benefits.

Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the two allied parties of Mr Khan’s PTI, have come up with a ‘minus-Imran Khan’ formula to save the incumbent government before the vote on the motion of censure.

The PML-N chairman said the country’s political parties must come to a consensus on Pakistan’s economic recovery. He said political leadership must end polarization. When asked if he would ask the National Accountability Bureau, the anti-corruption watchdog, to investigate corruption charges against the current leaders after they were removed, Shehbaz Sharif said the law would run its course.

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