Military-opposition meetings

The furore over the recent speech by former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has not settled down in which he strongly criticised state institutions. It has now been revealed that opposition leaders held a meeting with the military leadership a few days before the much-hyped All-Parties Conference (APC).

The rare meeting was supposed to be held over the Gilgit-Baltistan issue but discussed the accountability drive. The army chief categorically told the opposition not to drag the army into politics. He stated that the army only comes to help other institutions. The opposition failed to receive any relief and a stern message was delivered that the accountability drive against them will continue. 

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman’s son, who was present in the meeting, was told that if elections were rigged then he should not be a part of parliament. The JUI-F chief has been the strongest opponent of Imran Khan’s government but was reminded how he was part of successive governments. He has amassed a huge wealth despite proclaiming that he does not have any business. He has now being summoned by NAB for possessing assets beyond known means of income but has refused to appear.

It has been known that opposition particularly the PML-N went on an onslaught against the military after this meeting. Shehbaz Sharif was present and it was in the knowledge of the Nawaz Sharif. Prime Minister Imran Khan was invited but refused to sit with the opposition he has termed as corrupt.

The question remains whether the opposition parties requested any relief from the military. This would imply they involved the military in politics rather than facing the accountability process. Now it has also been revealed that PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair led a separate meeting with the Army Chief and discussed the issue of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz.

Maryam had denied the meeting forcing the army spokesman to issue a clarification that two meetings were indeed held with the military leadership. This seems part of a concerted effort by PML-N to lash out at the army but also seeks assistance from them. Opposition parties should not degrade the armed forces by involving them in politics and keep the mudslinging to themselves.

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