Army’s support for democracy

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In a rare move, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa briefed the in-camera session of the Senate on national security issues. It is the first time that the army chief gave such a detailed briefing to the Senate, said the former Senate chairman and Pakistan People’s Party leader Farook H Naek. According to a report, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz senator Nehal Hashmi told the media that the army chief responded the questions regarding army’s alleged involvement in recent sit-in of a little-known religious party in Faizabad. Responding to a question posed by Senator Mushahidullah Khan, COAS said he would resign if military is found to be involved in Faizabad sit-in, said Senator Hashmi. After the briefing, Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor Bajwa told the media that the briefing went on for an hour and a half, followed by a very candid, very free, very frank and very objective question answer session. Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza briefed the senators about the geo-strategic situation and inform them of threats to national security, said DG ISPR. “Our honourable senators acknowledged the army’s sacrifices,” he said.

He further told the media that COAS visited Senate on the invitation of the chief of the Senate’s defence committee.

Moreover, DG ISPR said he would hold a detail press conference regarding the army chief’s briefing in next three to four days.Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Parliament House along with Inter-Services Intelligence Director General Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar, and Military Operation DG Major General Sahir Shamshad Mirza where they attended the Senate committee session. The in-camera session of the Whole House committee was briefed by DGMO who apprised the Senate about the number of military courts decisions so far. He told that the military courts handed death sentences to 161 offenders while 56 of them had already been executed. He added that only 13 people had been executed before the launch of Operation Radd ul-Fasaad and 43 were hanged after it was launched. Army Chief and Chairman Senate have taken very right step as Army Chief briefed Senate Committee on the matters of national security. The step was taken at the time when country was facing worst political uncertainty. This will improve the confidence of the people on democracy of the country and will send good message. Army has once again reiterated its support for the democracy and supremacy of rule of law and constitution. We hope this move will put positive impacts on nascent democratic process and such steps will continue in future.

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