New Delhi: The Pakistan Army on Saturday warned participants of the anti-government Azadi March that no one would be allowed to create instability in the country, even as cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who is the leader and the organiser of the march, set a 48-hour deadline for Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down from office.
Speaking to media, Major General Asif Ghafoor, who is the spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces said, “Maulana Fazlur Rehman is a senior politician. He should clarify which state institution he is talking about. The Pakistan Armed Forces are impartial institutions of the state and have always supported democratically elected governments.”
Major General Ghafoor added, “No one would be allowed to spread instability as the country cannot afford chaos.”
This was in response to Rehman’s statement that while he did not want any conflict with the state institutions, he also wanted them to be neutral. He also asked the institutions if they would continue to support the Imran Khan government.
The Azadi March, which started on October 27 from Sindh, reached its final destination, capital Islamabad on November 1, a day after it was scheduled to reach there. The aim of the march, in the words of Maulana Rehman, who also heads the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F), is to topple Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, which, it is alleged was installed in power by the army, leading to Imran Khan being termed as ‘selected Prime Minister.’
The Pakistan Army has repeatedly denied that it had any hand in Imran Khan becoming the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
At the march, Maulana Fazlur Rehman was also joined by major opposition leaders like Shahbaz Sharif, Bilawal Bhutto etc.
Reacting to Major General Ghafoor’s statement, he said that the statement should have come from some politicians and not the army and advised the officer not to make such remarks as these violated the army’s neutrality.