Urges army to ‘stay away from politics, controversies’
Javed Hashmi says Pakistanis love armed forces, but they are not ready to give them ‘right to rule the country’
ISLAMABAD: Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Sunday came down hard on the top leadership of judiciary and army for their alleged involvement in political affairs and urged the military leadership to ‘stay away from politics and controversies’.
Addressing the audience at the launching of a book authored by veteran politician Makhdoom Javed Hashmi here, the minister asked why the prime ministers of the country were always found at fault.
“Why is it that the prime minister is always at fault … Why can a chief justice or the chief of army staff never be wrong,” argued Rafique while addressing the launching of Hashmi’s book titled “Zinda Tareekh” (living history).
Railways minister, often described as a street-smart politician in the ruling party, argued that the country will get weaker if its political parties are weak. He said that the politicians were being ‘unjustly’ targeted and abused in the country.
“Democracy is yet to become fully functional… Army should stay away from politics and controversies. There is a huge difference between the army’s professional and political roles,” maintained the minister.
He, however, expressed resolve that his party would not make any compromise on the supremacy of the constitution.
Referring to the military takeovers in the past through a military truck and a jeep, the minister said his party did not want “a truck to arrive and take away everyone, including Imran Khan.”
“Democracy is yet to become fully functional in the country,” he said.
Taking to task the superior judiciary for the Panama Leaks case verdict, the minister said after the lawyers’ movement, the PML-N thought that the courts would be free.
“However, later it was proved that the doctrine of necessity is still alive,” asserted the firebrand minister, asserting that his party will not accept if only a ‘few people’ keep deciding the fate of the country.
He also said that engineering in the political affairs would never succeed. Without naming any individual or institution, the minister opposed the efforts to ban MQM chief Altaf Hussain. He was of the view that engineered political parties—like Mustafa Kamal-led Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP)—had no future in the country.
“It would have been better if people in the MQM had been allowed to take their own decisions,” he maintained.
Saad also praised Hashmi for his struggle for democracy, conceding that the PML-N was equally responsible for veteran leader’s departure from the party in 2011, adding that the ideological workers of the party were hurt by the decision.
“We should have respected Javed Hashmi, like a jewel in the crown,” he asserted.
Addressing the gathering, Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani said the political parties should immediately take notice of “religion being used for political gains”. He said the writ of the state had been completely eroded during the recently concluded Faizabad sit-in by Tehrik Laibak Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR).
Javed Hashmi also criticised the role of the armed forces in dealing with the Faizabad protesters. “A general giving the protesters Rs1,000 each is beyond comprehension. Those who criticise the army are never forgiven,” he said.
He said the people of Pakistan love the armed forces, but they are not ready to give them (army) “the right to rule the country”.
“Military rulers think that those who agree with them are patriotic while those who disagree are traitors,” Hashmi maintained.
Climate Change Minister Mushahidullah also showered praises on Hashmi for his political struggle and said he was deeply hurt when Javed Hashmi’s took decision to quit PML-N.