ISLAMABAD: Gen (R) Abdul Qadir who was PML-N’s president Baluchistan and a former minister in Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet has clarified that he quit the PML-N because of Nawaz Sharif’s anti establishment stance, not the internal squabble over Nawab Sanaullah Zehri.
Abdul Qadir confirmed to a news outlet that he would formally announce his resignation from the party at a press conference on November 7.
The retired general, who was a member of Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet in the last PML-N government held that Nawaz’s statements in his Quetta speech were extremely dangerous for the institution of the Pakistan Army. He said it could lead to a rebellion within the rank and file of the Pakistan armed forces.
Gen (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch explained that it is not for lower rank officers to interpret their top command’s orders and to decide on their own which order they have to obey and which order they need to reject and whether any order in their view is legal or illegal. If army officers start evaluating the orders of their command along these lines, the institution will collapse and there would be a mutiny every day according to the retired general.
Baloch held that in the same speech, Nawaz Sharif had asked people to come out on the streets and no one would proceed against them.
Regarding reports that he is quitting the party after PML-N’s controversial decision not to invite former Balochistan chief minister Sanaullah Zehri to the recently held PDM rally in Quetta, he said that he had reservations on that matter too but that was not the reason for his leaving the party. He added that a day before the Quetta public meeting, it was conveyed to him by his party that Sanaullah Zehri was not welcome in the PDM’s rally because Akhtar Mengal had reservations about Zehri.
The retired general was also Governor Balochistan during Gen Musharraf’s tenure. He said that he talked to several PML-N leaders, including Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Ahsan Iqbal, Mussadiq Malik, Muhammad Zubair and Marriyum Aurangzeb, to plead Zehri’s case but the former CM was not allowed to join the PDM rally. Maryam Nawaz, he said, was also in the loop on this issue.
The Zehri issue, he insisted, was not the main reason for his departure from the PML-N. He said that former Speaker NA Ayaz Sadiq’s controversial statement was also not the reason for his decision to quit the party. Baloch also denied that there was any pressure on him from the military establishment to part ways with the Nawaz-led Muslim League.