Saturday December 02, 2023

Army should remain neutral: President Arif Alvi

President denies commenting on term 'neutral'; says he's not a broker but prefers dialogue

By Web Desk
October 10, 2022
President Arif Alvi talks during an interview with a private news channel. — Aaj TV/YouTube
President Arif Alvi talks during an interview with a private news channel. — Aaj TV/YouTube

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi on Monday said that the Pakistan Army should remain neutral.

The president's comments came during a talk show on a private channel in which he emphasised that the army's role in the constitution was "clear".

Commenting on his role of acting as a bridge between the PTI and the army, the President said: "I'm trying to make everyone sit down and have a dialogue. The success of my efforts lies in staying silent."

The president further added that he is "not a broker", but wants people to sit down and have a dialogue.

Speaking on the matter of appointing the next army chief, the president said that the appointment would be held through the "constitutional method".

"It's better if the new army chief's name is given following extensive consultation to ensure consensus. With respect to the army chief's appointment, consultations have also been held in the past," he said, questioning if only the government's right to consultation is mentioned in the Constitution.

He added that deliberations on the army chief's extension have also taken place.

Sharing his views on the cypher's matter, President Alvi said that the letter was sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Umar Ata Bandial.

While not convinced by the allegations of a conspiracy credited to the cypher — purported by the PTI following its government's ouster in April this year — the president hinted suspicion on the letter and mentioned the need for an "investigation".

President Alvi shared that he has two matters on the table at the moment — the economy and elections.

"[I'm] trying to ensure an understanding of the economy," he said.

Asserting his views on the terror case filed against PTI Chairman Imran Khan following his threatening speech targeting a female judge and officers of the Islamabad Police in August, President Alvi said: "The Anti-Terror law was legislated, but there is no need to fit it on someone."

Commenting on the ouster of Khan from the Prime Minister House earlier this year, the president said that the PTI chief was "frustrated" when his government was toppled.

He added that it was Khan's personal decision to not go to the assembly.

"Had he asked me, I would give some other advice," the president remarked, adding that the PTI chairman will himself respond to his own comments.

Responding to a question about the recent audio leaks saga, the president said that the "leaks' market is hot" and the "era of privacy has ended".