Nothing objectionable in Saad’s remarks triggering army’s response: Shah


LAHORE: Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah has said that there was nothing objectionable in the statement of Khawaja Saad Rafique which triggered prompt response from the military spokesperson.
Talking to media in Lahore, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader said he examined Rafique’s remarks regarding army and found nothing controversial in them.
He stated that Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor should not have spoken on the matter in haste.
In a press conference on Thursday, Maj Gen Ghafoor had said that Rafique’s statement was irresponsible and unwarranted adding that the minister was targeting the chain of command and the subordination system of Pakistan Army.
On December 24, Rafique had praised the army chief’s “confidence-boosting move” of briefing the Senate; however, the minister had said ‘others’ should also support the army chief’s stance on whom “his command is applied to”.
Khursheed Shah, during his media talk, added that PPP wanted the continuation of democracy in the country and the timely conduct of general polls.
Shah said the PPP had been supporting the reforms and merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since day one.
He claimed the government was avoiding taking a decision on the FATA issue due to its ‘commitments’ and added that he did not think the matter would drag on for long and a decision would be taken soon.
Responding to a question about the PPP leaders’ meeting with Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri, Shah said there was nothing new in the meetings as they have occurred before.
Regarding sit-ins, he said it was the democratic right of people to protest but the greater public shouldn’t be disturbed due to dharnas (sit-ins).
He added that the recent dharna by a religious group in Islamabad sent a bad message to the world as Pakistan was cast as a dangerous country.


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