close
Monday July 15, 2024

Gen (r) Lodhi’s reconciliation proposal has reached military authorities

Former defence secretary Lt-Gen (r) Naeem Lodhi’s proposal for political and institutional reconciliation, which focuses on bridging gap between establishment and PTI, has reached the military authorities

By Ansar Abbasi
May 03, 2024
Gen (r) Lodhi’s reconciliation proposal has reached military authorities

ISLAMABAD: Former defence secretary Lt-Gen (r) Naeem Lodhi’s proposal for political and institutional reconciliation, which focuses -- without naming any party -- on bridging the gap between the establishment and the PTI, has reached the military authorities.

Lodhi has told The News that he has not yet received any response from the military authorities to his set of proposals for reconciliation. He also said that so far he has not contacted Imran Khan, any other key PTI figure, or leaders of other political parties in this regard.

The retired general is however in contact with Syed Mushahid Hussain, Muhammad Ali Durrani, an ex-four star general, a former air marshal, some retired key diplomats, bureaucrats, and a few media persons for a collective effort towards an early political and institutional reconciliation. However, it is not yet announced who will formally join Gen Lodhi’s effort.

Lodhi has proposed an end to incendiary discourse against institutions, an end to political persecution, and allowing the present government at least two years to deliver.

Talking to The News a few days back, the retired general had said that even if the involved parties initially seem to be non-compromising, sincere groups and individuals should -- for the sake of the country and its poverty-stricken people -- not get deterred by the enormity of the seemingly impossible task.

He demanded an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Committee with a special invitation to the CJP, heads of major political parties, prominent personalities from the media and business community etc to discuss reconciliation.

Lt-Gen Lodhi’s demands include a call for an immediate cessation of all kinds of rabble-rousing and aggressive stances against rival political groups and institutions; halt and reversal to all political persecutions by the government and others; and for the judiciary and tribunals to be free to dispense speedy justice related to politically motivated trials and appeals related to election complaints.

Further demands, which the former defence secretary also elaborated in his oped published in The News on Wednesday, are that the police and district administration should not be employed to harass political opponents; the present governments, federal and provincial, be given at least two trouble-free years (till the end of 2025) to deliver; those who don’t accept the election results may remain peaceful and under protest accept the present governments for this stipulated interim period; their silent protests be allowed to manifest through benign non-violent acts like wearing black armbands etc; and no street protests or large-scale demonstrations for these two years except approved gatherings for organizational purposes.

Lodhi told this correspondent that his article had been conveyed to the military authorities. “I have not received any response as yet from the military side”, he said, adding that so far he has not contacted Imran Khan or any other key leader of the PTI or top leadership of other political parties.

While Lodhi has made his proposals for political and institutional reconciliation public, he intends to start contacting the stakeholders only after the civil society group he is working on is finalized.