A general democrat: Gen Kayani has a dream – of free, fair elections

Published: February 27, 2013

“The army does not have any intention to derail the democratic process,” says Kayani.

ISLAMABAD: 

Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said it is his dream to see free, fair and transparent elections in the country, dismissing reports that the security establishment was pushing for a delay in the democratic exercise.

In an informal chat with a group of senior journalists in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Sunday, Gen Kayani insisted that the army would support parliamentary polls to take place on time. “The army does not have any intention to derail the democratic process,” he was quoted as saying by a senior military official who was present at the interaction.

The army chief’s rare statement appears to be aimed at dispelling the impression that the army was clandestinely making efforts to seek a technocratic set-up instead of elections, due in May this year.

This is the second time in a week that the army has sought to quash such rumours. Last week, the chief military spokesperson also issued a similar statement insisting that the army would not benefit in any way whatsoever if the elections were delayed.

Army chief Gen Kayani told journalists that ever since he took over charge, his actions have proved that the security establishment had no plans to interfere in political matters. “It is my dream that free, fair and transparent elections take place on time,” he said.

Gen Kayani said he assured Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice (retd) Fakhruddin G Ebrahim in a recent meeting of the army’s all-out support for transparent polls.

He also spoke on the current unrest in Balochistan, saying the ongoing situation must not impede the political process there. “It is important that widely representative elections should take place in Balochistan along with the rest of the country,” he emphasised. His remarks were apparently in reference to the boycott of the 2008 elections by Balochistan’s nationalist parties.

‘Pakistan’s stand on Afghanistan vindicated’

Gen Kayani also spoke about the Afghan endgame and efforts by Pakistan to seek a political solution to the decade-long conflict.

He claimed that the international community had finally endorsed Pakistan’s view that an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process was the best solution to ensure a smooth political transition in the war-torn country.

“We are no more saying that Pakistan wants a friendly government in Afghanistan. We want a peaceful and durable political dispensation in Afghanistan,” Gen Kayani said. “Once you have a stable and peaceful government there, Kabul will certainly have friendly relations with Islamabad.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 27th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (28)

  • asad
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:44AM

    Kayani, can you also do something about certain political parties’ support for LEJ and Shia killers?

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  • f
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:48AM

    I hope it is true as there is trust deficit created in past so it is hard to believe.

    On the other hand Parties joining PML N such as JUI F , PML F and other 4 to 5 parties and all Q league candidates which are well know for there links with military establishment.It reminds of islami jamoori itehad.

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  • cautious
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:54AM

    Kayani says he supports Democracy yet he doesn’t/won’t report to the elected govt? Uses words like “consensus” to justify why he wont’ take on terrorist who have killed thousands of Pakistani’s. He’s a fraud – knows that in a real Democracy he loses power.

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  • Raj - USA
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:54AM

    He has a dream ???????

    Was he sleeping all along ????????

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  • Feb 27, 2013 - 3:04AM

    Well I hope he make sure it happens this way… Bcoz this time it is equivalent to a “Do-or-Die” situation for Pakistan.

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  • Nadir
    Feb 27, 2013 - 3:20AM

    Alls well now that DHA Islamabad 2013 bill has been passed.

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  • Bilal
    Feb 27, 2013 - 3:24AM

    Yes, democracy won’t be derailed… as long as Kayani keeps getting extension after extension. Shameful.

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Feb 27, 2013 - 3:35AM

    Its very wise to support process of free and fair elections and let win deserving national party when you have Qadri and Imran as alternatives.

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  • pakistani
    Feb 27, 2013 - 5:00AM

    We welcome this statement.
    And hope this is how it will be from now on.
    So that we will have a democratic Pakistan, free from interventions from establishment either in forms of take over or in forming political alliances.

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  • Hafeez
    Feb 27, 2013 - 7:27AM

    Seems like he is interested in another extension. Still it is a welcome statement.

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  • Mohammad
    Feb 27, 2013 - 8:28AM

    @Bilal:

    Kayani, if he is democracy lover, should not take any more extension instead he should let others work in his place..

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  • Jhat
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:03AM

    what i dont understand in this country is why does Mr.Kayani being from the Army dreams of free and fair elections? it is ECP who should be implementing this and making sure this happens.
    People should start understanding their duties instead of poking their noses where they are not required

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  • Ali
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:09AM

    Extension speaks for itself.

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  • Gujesh
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:16AM

    This man raised high hopes in Pakistan, but did nothing spectacular.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:22AM

    one thing more general Kayani please make sure Pakistan make sincere efforts to bring Iran ,China,Russia,Tajikistan,Uzbekistan on board for durable peace in Afghanistan.”Cordon off Initiative”by all neighbors of Afghanistan.All will benefit with criss cross trade and Pakistan the most.I am a day dreamer.

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  • sabi
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:43AM

    What a joke.After geting foreign policy in your own hand what is left in democracy.Full term extension and performance?. …Thank you!

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  • PkTun
    Feb 27, 2013 - 9:54AM

    Glad to see the General spending his well earned extensions in dreaming peacefully.

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  • Django
    Feb 27, 2013 - 10:46AM

    A 3-year extension goes a long way in ensuring revenge of democracy continues.

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  • Abdullah Hashmi
    Feb 27, 2013 - 10:48AM

    Everyone looking upto the Army now… they are and have always been the saviours.. May Allah save us all..

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  • liaqat ali
    Feb 27, 2013 - 10:59AM

    He is talking about democracy as charitable gift from him to people of Pakistan.In a civilized society he can be punished for it.Coming from army it is like a big dacoit say I wont do it any more out of my good heart , thank me for it.. Enough of enough you kayanaynis and Mushees.Recommend

  • Azfar
    Feb 27, 2013 - 11:23AM

    In an new democratic system, institutions must encourage new political parties to emerge not only challenging the existing political giants but also provide alternatives to people who are fed up with their government representatives

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  • Azfar
    Feb 27, 2013 - 11:25AM

    In an new democratic system, institutions must encourage new political parties to emerge not only challenging the existing political giants but also provide alternatives to people who are fed up with their government representatives

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  • Feb 27, 2013 - 11:55AM

    i wish there can be free and fair election with in Army ranks as well, so that people stop taking unnecessary 3 years extensions

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  • S N J
    Feb 27, 2013 - 12:57PM

    General, why don’t you pay attention to terrorism and other security issues?

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  • Tauseef Mallick
    Feb 27, 2013 - 1:34PM

    Whosoever is writing the script for Army Chief, seems to be a follower of Martin Luther King. As now even Gen Ashfaq Perveiz has ‘A Dream’..

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  • Dhaka
    Feb 27, 2013 - 2:50PM

    Time for bangladesh to train pakistani soldiers for combat skills.

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  • poleturtle
    Feb 28, 2013 - 12:35PM

    Palaces in Golf Clubs, DHA’s and extensions is what is he wants. As honest as any other Top Pakistani !!

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  • Kuchi Pukki
    Feb 28, 2013 - 10:49PM

    He failed to mention the “date” of the elections he dreams of supporting?

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