: Amid reports of disunity among the ranks of the Pakistan army, Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry on Friday refuted allegations of imposition of martial law in the country, reported Geo News.
“I want to say very clearly that General Asim Munir and the army’s leadership wholeheartedly support democracy and will continue to do so. The imposition of martial law is out of the question,” said Chaudhry. This comes after an almost four-day political turmoil erupted due to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, in which army’s installations were also targeted, reported Geo News.
“The army chief and the army’s senior leadership completely believe in democracy,” the military’s top spokesperson said.
There are reports coming in from Pakistan that several Brigadier, Colonel and Major level officers of the Pakistan Army have been sacked because they refused to open fire at PTI protestors and Imran Khan supporters.
Meanwhile, in a video, Imran launched a direct attack on Pakistan Army Chief General Asim Munir and blamed him for creating chaos in the country.
“I am not against the institution but today the Pakistan Army is getting maligned because of one man – The Pakistan Army Chief,” said Imran.
He criticised the military while his supporters raised the stakes by attacking military targets — torching the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and attacking the entrance to the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi, reported Geo News.
In response to the reports which were circulating that army officers have resigned due to the ongoing chaos, the spokesperson snubbed these speculations as well.
“Despite all-out efforts of internal miscreants and external enemies, the army remains united under Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir,” Maj Gen Chaudhry said.
“The dreams of creating division within the army will remain dreams. Neither anyone has resigned nor disobeyed any order,” the army’s spokesperson added.
Violent protests took place following Khan’s arrest, in which nearly a dozen people were killed and several injured. The law enforcement agencies then began a crackdown on PTI, arresting scores of workers and top leaders.
After the supporters attacked army installations, the ISPR said that May 9, 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest — would go down in history as a “dark chapter,” reported Geo News.
The ISPR called the PTI leaders “hypocrites” for inciting their workers against the armed forces on the one hand, and praising the military — in a bid to overshadow their criticism — on the other.
The unrest in the country has come to a halt for now as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has provided blanket relief to Khan and barred authorities from arresting the PTI chief till Monday morning (May 15), after which, the government said it could arrest him, “if need be”.
In response to Khan’s fresh salvo against the army chief, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the PTI chairman’s latest statement against Gen Munir depicted his “cheap mentality” towards the armed forces, reported Geo News.
“His statement proves that he is the mastermind of May 9 events,” the premier said in a statement, criticising Khan’s “baseless” allegations against a senior army official for planning to have him assassinated.