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‘Keep us out from your politics’ Pak Army warns PM Imran Khan

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@HamzaAzhrSalam)

Amid the political chaos, the most powerful Pakistani military establishment has warned the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government “not to drag them into his politics as the military has nothing to do with domestic politics.”

The response comes after the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain called for the army help in the wake of the no-confidence notice against the Imran Khan government. He has literally appealed to the military establishment to not stay neutral in political matters, takes sides and supports Imran Khan against combined opposition.

“Under the constitutional scheme the army always stands by the sitting government. The army has to obey the Constitution,” Dawn quoted Fawad as saying.

The military establishment has made it clear that it is no longer propping up Imran Khan, that it is “neutral”. The selectors (military establishment) have started looking for a new captain.

According to insiders, the military establishment has been angry with Imran Khan’s open claim that  the army's support in his “ugly” fight with the combined opposition, which took a negative  turn on Thursday night.

According to media reports, following the order of Imran Khan, the police tried to forcibly arrest opposition parliamentarians of Jamiat Ulema-e Islam Pakistan (JUIF) from the parliament lodge where they have been staying. To pre-empt the move, the supremo of JDUI Maulana Falur Rehman had deployed “volunteers” of his private militia Ansar-ul-Islam which protects the party leaders during rallies, especially during election season.

While the government claimed that these “volunteers” of the banned outfit were armed, Rehman said that “Imran Khan wants to abduct the opposition’s members of the National Assembly by arresting them  to reduce their numbers during the session when the no-confidence motion will be moved.”

After a pitched battle inside and outside of the parliament lodge in Islamabad between the police and volunteers of JUIF, the police managed to “arrest” 19 parliamentarians along with supporters.

Sharing the pictures and video clipped, the veteran Pakistani journalist wrote on Twitter,”  There is one word: Shameful. Is this how an elected member of parliament is treated? Such tactics have always backfired. PM Imran Khan  you promised change but your government is repeating the ugly scenes of our turbulent history”.

The united opposition has called for nationwide protest. Rehman has asked his supporters to either reach Islamabad or block roads in their cities and resist this in incompetent government.

"We demand that our MNAs (parliamentarians) and others be released and that the government and police apologise. We have declared war and will not forgive them for this terrorism,” Rehman was quoted as saying by the Pakistani media.

“Puppet Prime Minister Imran Khan is harassing the members of the Parliament by creating fear and terror among them. He has gone mad and in panic harassing the members of the Parliament,” said Asif Ali Zardari, former president and PPP Co-chairman.

As Najam Sethi, a veteran Pakistani journalist writes, “Imran Khan's strategy is to resist his ouster by violent means and drag the army into interventionist politics all over again. In other words, if he isn’t allowed to rule, his preferred alternative is to trigger political chaos in the country”.

Also Read: Staring at defeat, mercurial Imran Khan goes berserk—mounts personal attacks on top opposition leaders