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Monday May 20, 2024

'Highly deplorable': Military denounces election meddling allegations

"Forum hoped that post elections environment brings in desired political and economic stability," says ISPR

By Zarmeen Zehra
March 05, 2024

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Army on Tuesday expressed dismay that some vested small segments of polity and media, especially social media, have been maligning armed forces with unsubstantiated allegations of interference, terming the claims "highly deplorable". 

The military’s media wing, in a statement, mentioned that the army’s reservations came during the 263rd Corps Commanders’ Conference (CCC) held at GHQ, with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir in the chair.

The Inter-Services Public Relations, quoting the army’s top brass, said the CCC noted that the forces “at a great peril to their primary responsibility, provided security environment for the conduct of GE-24 as per the given mandate, and had nothing to do with the electoral process”.

“However, the forum expressed dismay that some vested small segments of polity and media especially social media have been maligning Armed Forces of Pakistan with unsubstantiated allegations of interference which is highly deplorable,” the statement added.

The top commanders said rather than focusing on real issues such as good governance, economic recovery, political stability, and public well-being, the entire focus of such vested elements is on creating political instability and uncertainty by attempting to scapegoat others for their own failings, as per the ISPR.

The military’s top brass also emphasised that that due legal processes be followed with evidence and proof rather than resorting to unconstitutional and uncalled for baseless political rhetoric and emotional outbursts.

The corps commanders noted with satisfaction the smooth democratic transition of power in the Center and provinces. “[The] Forum hoped that the post elections environment brings in desired political and economic stability resulting into peace and prosperity for the people of Pakistan.”

The military also expressed that it strongly believed that democratic consolidation is the way forward for the country, as per the military’s media wing.

The top commanders affirmed that military leadership is cognisant of the full spectrum of the challenges and threats and it remains committed to shoulder its constitutionally mandated responsibilities with the support of the resilient people of Pakistan.

The military reiterated to continue providing full support to the government in combating security threats and uplifting the socioeconomic growth in the country including wholehearted assistance in curbing all illegal activities including “smuggling, hoarding, electricity theft, implementation of One Document Regime and respectable & safe repatriation of all illegal foreigners”.

Moreover, the ISPR said, in line with the resolve of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the forum committed that planners, instigators, abettors, perpetrators, and desecrators of martyrs’ monuments and attackers of military installations on May 9, would certainly be brought to justice under the relevant provisions of the law and Constitution.

The May 9 attacks refer to the violent protests that broke out following the arrest of incarcerated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan in a corruption case last year.

"In this regard, malicious efforts to create distortions, confusion, and disinformation are absolutely futile and only part of an organised campaign being launched for narrow political interests, to blur the abhorrent activities that took place," the military's media wing said.

The military also noted with concern that organised misinformation and fake news being spread by certain nefarious elements to sow despondency and divisions within the society, and urged the "proud people of Pakistan to remain positive and united and wholeheartedly participate in the progress and development of the country".

"The participants affirmed that the Pakistan Army will continue defending and serving the nation in every possible way; in our journey towards enduring stability, prosperity and security."

The COAS urged field commanders to continue maintaining high standards of professionalism, operational preparedness and motivation during operations and achieving excellence during training of the formations.

'Terrorists to be dealt with full might'

In the same huddle, the corps commanders paid rich tribute to the supreme sacrifices of martyrs including officers and men of the armed forces, law enforcement agencies, and the citizens who have laid their lives to ensure peace and stability in the country.

"[The] Forum resolved that terrorists, their facilitators, and abettors, working on behest of hostile forces to destabilise Pakistan, will be dealt with full might of the state," the statement said.

Gen Munir directed commanders to continue consolidating the gains of efforts against terrorism and militancy.

Moreover, the forum expressed concerns over the continued repression of Kashmiris in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and condemned the unabated human rights violations by New Delhi.

The forum reaffirmed that Pakistan shall continue to support Kashmiris politically, diplomatically, and morally at all levels.

The military top brass also expressed complete solidarity with the people of Palestine and condemned serious human rights violations and war crimes being perpetrated in Gaza.

“The Palestinian people have unequivocal diplomatic, moral and political support of the Pakistani nation and we will continue to support the principled stance of our brethren for enduring resolution of the Palestinian issue,” the ISPR quoted the army chief as saying.