Retired general says army needs to distance itself from PTI

Defence analyst Lt Gen (r) Ghulam Mustafa has urged the Pakistan Army to distance itself from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in order to kill the impression that the ruling party has the support of the military.

In a TV show, the analyst said the impression that the army has gotten PTI’s back needs to be defused as it is damaging the reputation of the state institution.

Mustafa said the opposition, however, was being unfair for claiming that the army was supporting the ruling PTI. He said the military stood by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2014 during the protests led by Imran Khan, but nobody accused it of “supporting the Nawaz-led government”.

He said the army chief needed to take measures to take his force out of the tug of war between the political parties, as the current situation was rapidly heading towards disaster.

The defence analyst’s comments came in the wake of countrywide protests by the joint opposition alliance, the Pakistan Democratic Movement.

During its first rally in Gujranwala on Oct 18, former prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif hit out at the security establishment for ousting his government and installing Imran Khan in power. This was the first time that the opposition named a sitting army chief for meddling in the elections.

Nawaz addressed the crowd via video link from London. “Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, you packed up our government, which was working well, and put the nation and the country at the alter of your wishes,” the former PM added.

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