–PML-N supremo says restriction aimed at fulfilling ‘requisites of Constitution of Pakistan and to remind the armed forces to comply with their oath’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has banned his party members from meeting with the military leadership covertly after Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed revealed details of the private meetings.
Taking to Twitter, Nawaz on Thursday said that no member of his party would hold individual, private or delegation-level meetings with the country’s military leadership. “If necessitated by national security or constitutional requirements, such meetings in the future will be approved by the party’s leadership and will be made public,” he added.
Nawaz said that “recent events once again prove how some meetings remain hidden behind seven veils while others are given the colour of choice through publicising them. This game should now stop.”
The PML-N supremo added that he was barring his party members from meeting representatives of military or associated agencies in order to fulfil “requisites of Constitution of Pakistan and to remind the armed forces to comply with their oath”.
Nawaz’s statement comes a day after the Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad said that some senior politicians of the party, such as senior PML-N leader and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair, had held two meetings with the military leadership, including the army chief.
When the details of these covert meetings were revealed, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Bilawal Zardari Bhutto had said that those conversations were meant to be confidential and that certain people needed to refrain from revealing their details.
PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal and Maryam Nawaz had also denied reports of any one-on-one meeting military army leadership and said that Rasheed was lying about the meeting.
Later, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major-General Babar Iftikhar had revealed in a TV talk show that “Mr Zubair twice met the army chief, once in the last week of August and then on September 7 in the presence of director-general ISI”.
“In these meetings, the army chief made it clear to him that the legal issues of both of them would be resolved in Pakistani courts and political issues would be resolved in the Pakistani parliament. The army should be kept away from these issues,” the ISPR DG had said, adding that he would make no more comments over the issue.
However, after ISPR DG’s revelations, Zubair had also confirmed that the meetings took place.