Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa has told PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif not to drag his name into politics, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed said on Monday.
“The army chief recently invited over 15 parliamentary leaders, including Shehbaz, Bilawal and [Jamaat-e-Islami chief] Sirajul Haq for dinner in Rawalpindi,” Rasheed told SAMAA TV. “He told them not to involve the army in any [political] issue.”
The federal minister was speaking to SAMAA TV’s anchorperson Nadeem Malik where he even went on to say that the COAS clarified that there’s no need for the army to get involved in politics.
Rasheed added that the army chief is also ready to deploy army personnel outside election polling stations instead of inside it if that is what the politicians want.
Rasheed’s comments come a day after the opposition’s All Parties Conference which got the attention of all politicos thanks to PML-N founder Nawaz Sharif’s address.
Nawaz, who has been in London for over a year, minced no words. He went after his obvious foes, the PTI, but preceded his bashing with a jibe at those who “brought the party into power”.
“Our fight is against those who brought [PM] Imran [Khan] into power,” Nawaz had said.
Nawaz and his love-hate relationship with the establishment
Anchor Malik was of the view that Nawaz was brought into mainstream politics by military dictator General Ziaul Haq, yet he had a fare share of run ins with the establishment during his career.
The journalist said Nawaz did not share a healthy relationship with former army chief Raheel Sharif or Asif Nawaz Janjua and the current situation depicts that his ties have worsened with Gen Bajwa as well, despite the closeness between the Sharif and Bajwa families.
PML-N’s Mohammad Zubair agreed. He discussed with Malik how the establishment’s apparent backing ascertains which party will assume power, but said this needs to end.
“We sit in our drawing rooms and have these discussions behind closed doors, we never speak about it publicly… It’s never a public debate and do we really want this to continue?” asked Zubair.
Malik retorted this change will only happen when him and other politicians change themselves.