Pakistani military official urges to keep army out of political disputes
A senior military leader in Pakistan called on the public and Pakistani officials to keep the military out of their disputes following the ousting of former PM Imran Khan.
The head of the Inter-Services Public Relations of the Pakistani Armed Forces, Major General Babar Iftikhar, urged Thursday the country's politicians and the public not to drag the army into the ongoing dispute between ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and the new government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
"We want to stay out of it. Keep us out of this discourse," Pakistani broadcaster Geo News quoted Iftikhar as telling a press conference.
He welcomed constructive criticism but put on blast a "malicious campaign" against the Pakistani armed forces and its leadership.
He also noted that the campaign was illegal and unethical, as well as "totally" against national interest.
The Pakistani opposition's no-confidence vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government passed on Sunday in the National Assembly with a slight win against MPs who opposed the bid to oust the premier, Pakistani media reported.
The no-confidence vote garnered 174 votes in favor, while the National Assembly has 342 MPs, and the result was announced by PML-N's Ayaz Sadiq, who was chairing the session instead of speaker Asad Qaiser who had resigned minutes before the session started.
On the eve of the election, protestors took to the streets all over the country in support of Khan and his party. The premier at the time said his independent foreign policy irritated foreign powers, including the United States, which pushed it to go on a bid to undermine his country's sovereignty.
With his majority gone, Khan accused the opposition of buying support in the assembly with "open horse-trading... selling of lawmakers like goats and sheep", further accusing them of conspiring with Washington because of his opposition to US foreign policy. He said they financed the opposition's actions on a vote of no confidence.
Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for the President to dissolve parliament and hold early elections Sunday, a move that took place after members of the National Assembly presented a motion for a vote of no-confidence against the Prime Minister. The deputy speaker of Parliament, however, blocked the motion, ruling it was unconstitutional and part of a foreign conspiracy.
Soon afterwards, Pakistan's Supreme Court declared that the deputy speaker's revocation of the vote of no-confidence against Prime Minister Imran Khan was unconstitutional, reversing the decisions taken.