Army Not Party in Politics, Assures Bajwa

Army Not Party in Politics

Criticising Political Parties for Mistakes

General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the outgoing army chief, acknowledged on Wednesday that the force had “unconstitutionally involved in politics” for seven decades while also criticising political parties for mistakes and intolerance toward opponents. 

Gen. Bajwa made the unusually direct revelation as he made what might have been his final public appearance before the ceremony to transfer leadership the following week. 

General Headquarters’ Defense and Martyrs Ceremony

He was addressing the General Headquarters’ Defense and Martyrs Ceremony. Flooding prevented this year’s annual celebration from taking place, therefore it was scheduled as part of Gen. Bajwa‘s goodbye activities instead. 

Gen. Bajwa reserved the majority of his criticism for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), charging that it had created a fictitious and fraudulent narrative about the army and referred to top commanders by derogatory terms. The army chief did, however, add that he was prepared to forget and move past the conflict. 

Army’s Intervention in Politics

Gen. Bajwa claimed that due to the army’s extensive and “unconstitutional” “intervention in politics” during the past 70 years, it frequently receives criticism at home. 

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“You may remember that the army has frequently meddled in politics, doing everything from overthrowing civilian governments through coups to subtly influencing weak regimes. Due to their shortcomings, political leaders have, in the meantime, quite willingly given the military leeway by permitting institutional boundaries to be crossed.”

Services of Bajwa Doctrine

When he listed the army’s services for the nation — dealing with the Financial Action Task Force, the merger of Federally Administered Tribal Areas, border fencing, purchasing gas from Qatar, and dealing with Covid-19 and locusts — Gen. Bajwa gave a glimpse of the extent of the military’s involvement in governance. 

The COAS stated, “The Army always went above and above the call of duty in the service of the nation and will do so.” 

Military Continued to Meddle in Politics

According to the army chief, the military continued to meddle in politics up until February of last year, at which point it held a comprehensive discussion and decided to abstain. I want to tell you that we are and will continue to be completely following this decision. 

The army is currently facing attacks because the PTI believes that the military failed to support the party’s administration in its fight against the opposition’s vote of confidence. Imran Khan, the chairman of the PTI, said shortly after his removal that “certain persons” in the influential militant establishment had planned his removal in concert with “international conspirators.”

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