RAWALPINDI: Spokesperson of Pakistan armed forces, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that the ‘Azadi March’ was a political activity and the army had nothing to do with it.
“The armed forces are never involved in politics and they are occupied with the issues of national security,” Major General Asif Ghafoor said while talking to a private news channel.
He said Jamiat Ulema e Islam-F (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl ur Rehman knew what implications the presence of flag of a banned outfit among his supporters would have at the international level.
The armed forces have no role in elections, he said adding that the army had supported the ruling government even during the sit-in protest of 2014. “Being a security institution, whatever task was assigned to us at that time the army had fulfilled it,” he maintained.
The spokesperson of the armed forces said the ruling government could summon the army as per the constitution.
“The army only steps in after it is requisitioned ‘in aid of civil power’ during elections, after natural calamity, or for any other civil duty,” he said.
To a query regarding Maulana’s comments against him, Major General Asif said the defence of the country did not allow him to respond to such accusations, however he had made a calculated response to the comments.
“These are democratic activities and it is domain of the government and the opposition parties how they want to carry it forward,” he said.
To another query, he said being spokesperson of the Pakistan Army his no statement was in a personal capacity.
On Nov 1, while pointing towards the ongoing sit-in protest in Islamabad, Major General Asif Ghafoor had said that the military would not allow any effort to harm the national stability and support the government within the ambit of the constitution.
“Pakistan Army is a national and impartial institution, which believes in the supremacy of the constitution and law and always supports democratically elected government, not any single party,” Radio Pakistan had quoted Asif Ghafoor as saying while talking to a private news channel, hours after Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman had asked the “state institution” to stop supporting the “illegitimate government”.