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Pakistan Army chief Munir claims military provided secure environment despite several killed on election day

Though the military chief did not name any political party, it was directed at jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has been alleging that the powerful establishment had supported the PML-N party to steal its mandate.

Edited By: Ajeet Kumar @Ajeet1994 Islamabad Updated on: March 05, 2024 21:05 IST
Pakistan army chief General Asim Munir (L) and PTI supporters protesting against the election fraud
Image Source : AP/ISPR Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir (L) and PTI supporters protesting against the election fraud (R).

Islamabad: Pakistan's top military brass on Tuesday expressed “dismay” that some small segments of the polity and media, especially social media, were “maligning" the armed forces with “unsubstantiated allegations" of interference in the process of elections. The Army chief claimed the military provided enough security on the election day despite media reports claiming several killed on the polling day.

These remarks were made by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir who presided over the 263rd Corps Commanders’ Conference (CCC) held at GHQ, Rawalpindi, a day after Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in as the Prime Minister. He also said that rather the security force provided a secure environment for the conduct of polls, according to a statement by the Army.

The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy. The meeting noted that the armed forces, at great peril to their primary responsibility, provided a security environment for the conduct of elections on February 8 as per the given mandate, and had nothing to do with the electoral process.

“However, the forum expressed dismay that some vested small segments of polity and media especially social media have been maligning Armed Forces of Pakistan with unsubstantiated allegations of interference which is highly deplorable,” it read.

Gen Munir accuses "vested powers" behind "rumours" 

According to the statement, it is unfortunate that rather than focusing on real issues such as good governance, economic recovery, political stability and public well-being, the “entire focus of such vested elements is on creating political instability and uncertainty by attempting to scapegoat others for their own failings”.

Though the military did not name any political party, it was directed at jailed former prime minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), which has been alleging that the powerful establishment had supported the PML-N party to steal its mandate. The meeting emphasised that due legal processes be followed with evidence and proof rather than resorting to unconstitutional and uncalled-for baseless political rhetoric and emotional outbursts.

The commanders also appreciated the efforts of civil administration, law enforcement agencies and security forces for providing all-out assistance during general elections in the light of the Election Commission of Pakistan’s guidelines for creating a safe & secure environment for the electoral process, despite overwhelming odds.

Pakistan Army chief vows to fight with "terrorists"

The meeting noted with satisfaction the smooth democratic transition of power and hoped that the post-election environment would bring the desired political and economic stability resulting in peace and prosperity.

It further expressed that the armed forces strongly believed that democratic consolidation was the way forward for the country.

The meeting resolved that terrorists, their facilitators and abettors, working on the behest of hostile forces to destabilise Pakistan, will be dealt with the full might of the state, with the COAS directing the commanders to continue consolidating the gains against terrorism and militancy. The forum also paid rich tribute to the supreme sacrifices of those killed, including officers and men of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies and the citizens who have laid their lives to ensure peace and stability in the country.

The commanders affirmed that military leadership is cognizant of the full spectrum of the challenges and threats and it remains committed to shoulder its constitutionally mandated responsibilities with the support of the resilient people of Pakistan.

Full support to Pakistan govt: Army Chief

They reiterated to continue providing full support to the government in combating security threats and uplifting the socio-economic growth in the country including wholehearted assistance in curbing all illegal activities including smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, implementation of 'One Document Regime' for foreigners and respectable and safe repatriation of all illegal foreigners.

In line with the resolve of the Prime Minister, the forum committed that planners, instigators, abettors perpetrators and desecrators of martyrs’ monuments and attackers of military installations on May 9, would certainly be brought to justice under the relevant provisions of the law and Constitution. On this issue, the statement noted that malicious efforts to create distortions, confusion and disinformation are absolutely futile and only part of an organised campaign being launched for narrow political interests, to blur the abhorrent activities that took place.

The meeting noted with concern organised misinformation and fake news being spread by certain nefarious elements to sow despondency and divisions within the society and urged the “proud people” of Pakistan to remain positive and united and wholeheartedly participate in the progress and development of the country. The participants affirmed that the Pakistan Army will continue defending and serving the nation in every possible way; in our journey towards enduring stability, prosperity and security.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: 'This won't make any difference': What Pakistani people think of Shehbaz Sharif as he returns to power I WATCH

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