Posters begging for military coup raise eyebrows in Pakistan

Published: July 12, 2016
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Pakistani commuters drive past posters of army chief General Raheel Sharif in Peshawar on July 12, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Pakistani commuters drive past posters of army chief General Raheel Sharif in Peshawar on July 12, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Banners with pictures of army chief General Raheel Sharif are on display in major cities across Pakistan, urging him to impose martial law and take control of the country.

Interestingly, the banners sprung up overnight on all major boulevards in the cities despite the presence of several security checkpoints and patrol.

The banners have been put up in Karachi, Lahore, Quetta, Peshawar, Hyderabad, Rawalpindi, Sargodha, Faisalabad, etc, by the Move on Pakistan party.

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One banner hanging at a traffic intersection on the road between Rangers headquarters and Chief Minister House in Karachi reads: Jaanay ki baatain hui puraani, Khuda k liye ab ajao.

PHOTO: AFP

The chief organiser of the campaign, Ali Hashmi, claimed thousands of banners have been put up across Pakistan.

Activists involved in this exercise told The Express Tribune that the goal of their campaign was to implore the army chief to impose martial law and install a government of technocrats with General Raheel personally supervising it.

“There is no choice but to enforce martial law and to form a government of technocrats.”

“The absence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from the country for more than a month proves that there is no need of a political government,” they added.

In response, the ISPR said Pakistan Army or any of its affiliated organisations had nothing to do with the activity.

This is the second time banners have cropped up requesting the army chief to amend his retirement decision. In February, days after General Raheel announced he would step down later this year, banners were put up on the streets of the capital urging him to extend his tenure.

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On January 25, General Raheel Sharif laid to rest speculation that he would continue to serve as the military chief beyond November 2016 when he is due to retire, insisting he preferred to relinquish the job – unlike two of his predecessors.

“I do not believe in extension and will retire on the due date,” Chief of Army Staff General Raheel said in an unprecedented statement.

By declaring his intentions well in advance, General Raheel has become the first army chief since 1998 to doff his military uniform after completing his three-year tenure.

He was appointed as the country’s 15th army chief on November 29, 2013. He is scheduled to relinquish his office on November 29 this year.

PHOTO: AFP

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Reader Comments (49)

  • سے Shaam (Hanafi)
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:13AM

    End of democracy in Pakistan and rule of military militia to initiate. This would isolate Pakistan on World affairs more than what it is today. Military is to protect boundaries and remain there and not encroach upon the interiors…Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:16AM

    Probably put up by ISPR to give legitimacy to the soft coupRecommend

  • raw is war
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:20AM

    Of course, Gen Raheel needs to loot some money, Nawaz seems to be preventing him.Recommend

  • Unknown
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:32AM

    @raw is war:

    Nawaz is preventing him by looting 100% himselfRecommend

  • Karachiwala
    Jul 12, 2016 - 11:51AM

    Posters & Banners are placed by themselves. Wah ji Wah.Recommend

  • Saleem
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:08PM

    It would be a good step forward. The ‘concern’ of the Indian trolls in the comments section just shows that it is beneficial for Pakistan. Recommend

  • Frank Mossman
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:28PM

    Raheel Sharif is absolutely correct in stepping down at the due date. The answer to Pakistan’s problems lie outside the military. Its life-threatening problems are all due to the govermental ineptitude of previous military dictators (principally Zia & Musharraf). Another round of martial law will exhaust all of Pakistan’s nine lives.

    The answer lies with the Pakistani people. They have to collectively reflect on the nation’s problems and wisely choose a leader with the capacity to solve them (that excludes the military, for the aforementioned reasons). Foolish choices (eg re-selecting past leaders who had failed to deliver), will only worsen the problems.

    The people must think for themselves & choose by themselves. Their survival depends on it. Recommend

  • Singh
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:34PM

    Bad time for Pakistan. More isolation. Pak army can’t help meddling in internal politics. Where is sartaj Aziz?Recommend

  • irfan
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:53PM

    I am not a supporter of Martial Law and i will never be. We have to give credit to Gen. Raheel Sharif for taking strong actions against TTP and Indian Funded Terrorist .

    Pakistan have been able to restore much needed Peace ( Not 100 % but situation is better than PPP , Kayani ( Coward ) and Mushraff Era ) and credit goes to Raheel Sharif .

    The Raheel Sharif departure will be a happy news for Indian Agency RAW , TTP and all corrupt people like PML(N) and PPP.

    Look How Indian are scared due to Raheel Sharif extension . Any good news about Pakistan and Indian will loose their mind. Recommend

  • rk singh
    Jul 12, 2016 - 12:59PM

    @irfan:

    and vice versa.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:09PM

    @Frank Mossman:
    Think what is envisaged is actually a group of professional and competent technocrats to manage the affairs of the country with the military safeguarding the stability of that arrangement, because the so-called democracy we have now has for all intents and purposes been hijacked by self-serving dynastic racketeers.Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:15PM

    The general is needed elsewhere, specfically to lead NATO ground operation against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. I think that is where he is headed in November.Recommend

  • Muzaffar
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:15PM

    what do you expect people to do when our PM was away for 43 days and gave his daughter the authority to run the country. This democracy is a joke anyway.Recommend

  • Pakpatriot
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:20PM

    Should be inquired and charged by treason…!!Recommend

  • Jul 12, 2016 - 1:24PM

    Asking Raheel Sharif to impose Martial Law is not right nor in line with the provisions of the constitution. Either it should be amended to allow the military to take over completely, impose only a Martial Law administrator or become a part of the government, with full authority to act in circumstances such as Pakistan is going through. Gen. Raheel is a clear headed, brave and patriotic Pakistani soldier. He will, neither accept an extension nor impose Martial Law. He has seen how the previous Army Chiefs were treated after imposing Martial Law. He will not take blames from third class, corrupt, incompetent and coward politicians and labelled as “traitor”, “dictator” and offender of the Constitution of Pakistan. This time, in my opinion, he will do it but, the Government of Pakistan will have to request him formally, over the media, for help, so that later he is not blamed.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:43PM

    This seems like a black ops campaign being run by PML-N to malign the Army and rightly so. Hey, when an institution tasked to defend the borders starts playing politics and scheming against democratically elected governments – then the real politicians are well within their right to fight fire with fire, through whatever means necessary; even if they are unfair means.

    Unfortunately our democracy and our institutions have not gained the strength to punish those in uniforms who plan Dharnas and marches against civilians otherwise in any civilized country, such damned officers would have been indicted for treason and shot.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:50PM

    Violation/abrogation of constitution should not be limited to take over of the military but infact is same as squandering public money by public servants. After all, these politicians also take oath and they waste and squander public money with no repercussions. A recent example of His Highness Nawaz Sharif and the B777 that was used to bring his entourage from London. It is also a clear violation of constitution.Recommend

  • Syed Ahmed
    Jul 12, 2016 - 1:57PM

    No need for Gen Raheel Sharif to come to power, let the politician complete their full circle of ‘incompetence’. Army please do not give these politician a scape door.
    They will be removed by the vote of the people only.
    This is their worst nightmare to be kicked out by people not by Army.Recommend

  • Jadugar
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:00PM

    The General has done an excellent job….I think He should lead Pakistan and so does Majority of people in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:09PM

    @Khalid Latif:
    The Constitution we have now is a joke anyway; its been redrafted so many times in the image of whoever is in power that the country might as well not have a constitution in the first place ! Recommend

  • singh
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:27PM

    Indian funded terrorist? R u joking? Come to your senses. @irfan: Recommend

  • HS
    Jul 12, 2016 - 2:56PM

    First they say Aavay aavay, a few years down the line they’ll say jaavay jaavay.Recommend

  • Jawad I Rahman
    Jul 12, 2016 - 3:18PM

    How is this less dangerous and țreasonous than Hixbul Tehrir? Both advocate overthrow of constitutional governments.Recommend

  • rex minor
    Jul 12, 2016 - 3:27PM

    @سے Shaam (Hanafi):
    Military is to protect boundaries and remain there and not encroach upon the interiors…

    I do not mean to be rude sir, but which boundry you are referrng to. The last one was lost to India.

    rex minorRecommend

  • Sajid Mehmood
    Jul 12, 2016 - 3:37PM

    I think ISPR should clarify this situation. Recommend

  • Maqsod
    Jul 12, 2016 - 3:38PM

    People who are inviting army to takeover for 4th time are playing with fire.Army has always increased our problems rather than solving any.Pakistan as a nation will not survive if takeovers continue.Democracy may have its many flaws but that is the route for our unity integrity and long term survival.Whoever has invited army should first of all see history of takeovers and achievements.Loss of half of our country, spread of terrorism, overspending on large army and most of all gift of corrupt and time server politicians. I being a senior citizen will never appreciate any such move by our soldier chief for the good of his reputation and I would advise him to retire honourably as announced by him.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 12, 2016 - 4:30PM

    This is treason, plain and simple. Dark forces must be taught a lesson and it’s army’s duty to teach a lesson to these traitors. Recommend

  • Pak Patriot
    Jul 12, 2016 - 4:41PM

    Salute to great General Raheel Shareef. His charisma and military leadership is unprecedented. He has done all to remove stains put on army by former Army chiefs Zia and Pervez. He is a Hero which make us proud to have him as our Army chief. Wishing he should not retire and complete another 3 years for sake of CPEC completion.

    But it is also a fact as pointed out by Mr. Maqsood, that the terrorism , corrupt and inept politicians and unrest across the country is also a gift bestowed by the boots. Honourable Raheel Shareef is the one who is thoroughly pragmatic and professional in his conduct dedicated to securing and bettering Pakistan. He should be given extension irrespective of the fact whether he demands or not. Pakistan needs him, Recommend

  • M.S.
    Jul 12, 2016 - 4:56PM

    In my opinion, present rulers are behind this drama. Purpose is to malign army and General Raheel. Recommend

  • Naresh
    Jul 12, 2016 - 5:41PM

    As as Indian I have noticed that India-Pakistan Dialogue is MORE FRUITFUL when the Military is in Power in Pakistan. As such I would like Gen. Raheel to take over The Reins of Power in Pakistan for AT LEAST TEN YEARS and am sure that India and Pakistan will most definitely sort out all the Issues between them. It may take over Ten Years but surely at the end of the day there will be Peace between India and Pakistan.
    CheersRecommend

  • Atif Khan
    Jul 12, 2016 - 6:33PM

    No martial law, its not the solution. But yes, force Nawaz Sharif out of government and put him behind bars along with likes of Zardari, Fazlu and co. Technocratic setup right.Recommend

  • Ram
    Jul 12, 2016 - 7:46PM

    This may be good for India/Pakistan relationship as Mushraf came so close with Vajpayee in power on Indian side. This man Raheel seems to be honest and would good in best interest of Pakistan and maintain a good relationship with India. Pakistan economy always done well during Military rule as it removes the red tape and bureaucracy. Recommend

  • jkj
    Jul 12, 2016 - 7:48PM

    Martial has never been solution for Pakistan’s long standing issues.
    Army is constitutionally bound to protect borders, not to run the country through coup. Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan
    Jul 12, 2016 - 8:31PM

    @Syed Ahmed:
    You think people have elected these robbers of public money. They always come thru the back door by rigging elections. First they place incompetent people at all important places. They filled position in police by their choice of criminals. Do you forget what comes out the ballot boxes raddi paper or garbage. We need a big overhaul in the election process to get fair elections in Pakistan. There is no method to kick a govt. if the govt is not doing the job as per people aspiration.Recommend

  • Last Man Alive
    Jul 12, 2016 - 8:33PM

    Time to launch a massive operation against the looters looting

    in the name of sham democracy.Recommend

  • khan of karachi
    Jul 12, 2016 - 9:39PM

    Raheel Sharif should be the head of state like Putin for at least ten years. Thats the only way be can attain stability and prosperity. We would be the leaders of the indian subcontinent under him.Recommend

  • khan of karachi
    Jul 12, 2016 - 9:45PM

    @maqsod
    Dont compare Raheel Sharif with Zia, Yahya, Parvez. Raheel Sharif is a nationalist, who puts Pakistan First. He can defend pakistan even the world is against pakistan.Recommend

  • Jul 12, 2016 - 10:05PM

    @Haji Atiya:
    You mean takeover by unelected IMF appointeesRecommend

  • lalwa
    Jul 12, 2016 - 10:31PM

    @khan of karachi: Absolutely. We need a Russian kind of state functioning.Rahil Sharif has all the quality to be head of state.Recommend

  • Jerry
    Jul 13, 2016 - 1:33AM

    Some one called Ali Hashmi who claims to have hung these posters. The Army should probe where did he get tens of thousands of rupees to do this. One finger could be pointed towards Maulana Tahirul Qadr who has previously hanged thousands of posters on Rickshaws and buses before his last Dharna. May be this is preparation for his next Dharna preparing the ground for Army take over.

    Army taking over the government will negatively affect i.e. inhibit its ability to guard the frontiers effectively, putting this country into a total chaos.Recommend

  • wahid khan
    Jul 13, 2016 - 1:44AM

    Pakistan-A state of the Army,for the Army and by the Army.Recommend

  • stevenson
    Jul 13, 2016 - 2:44AM

    @irfan: The problem with 3 rd world people is that they like to be ruled by kings and dictators instead of understanding that a democratic leader and system despite all its faults is the only way forward. There is a reason why Muslim countries are run by generals, dictators and kings but always backward. Pakistan has a chance to become one of the few stable Muslim democracies is only we give it a chance. Look at how Pakistan has impro ved under Nawaz Sharif in hardly a few years.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jul 13, 2016 - 3:10AM

    @Haji Atiya:
    Constitution is not a joke. It is the only document which guarantees unity between its four federating units called provinces. Dark forces and enemies of Pakistan would call it a joke but if God forbidden its abrogated by any Punjabi, other three provinces will break away. There would be bloodshed and civil war. This is not 1977 or 1998. No world power is interested in Pakistan’s unity and existence. Thanks God, General is a stable person and has resisted enemies of Pakistan so far. Recommend

  • Bharat
    Jul 13, 2016 - 3:16AM

    @irfan:
    Good news about Raheel, and we are scared

    In India, thne general word is – who cares?
    \
    For all we care, ask him to stay and continue to be shadow and real government.
    The problem is yoursRecommend

  • OIne dope Indian
    Jul 13, 2016 - 3:23AM

    oh for god’s sake..0
    Organise a coup

    kill a few more millions in Balochistan.

    Stop discussing – just get on and make the same mess againRecommend

  • wb
    Jul 13, 2016 - 6:38AM

    Djinns are behind this!Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 13, 2016 - 8:38AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    A mere piece of paper or document certainly does not “guarantee unity” ! And a document which has be ignored, changed, and abused innumerable times. But a common sense of purpose and hope in a country and its people does ! FYI a number of countries are doing just fine without any constitution.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jul 13, 2016 - 8:46AM

    @Muhibullah:
    Yes that’s what I mean; “unelected” IMF technocrats who know what their doing anyday over ‘elected’ illiterate or near illiterate swindlers. Btw, the last time that happened, albeit for a short period of time as an interim measure, the country greatly benefited. And besides IMF technocrats I would even include a council of our top scientists and technologists calling the shots !Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2016 - 11:47AM

    @Muhibullah:
    You have seen that in countries where matters become difficult, if not impossible, to correct through legal means, the ” take over” by any body nationally accepted becomes inevitable. Khomeini’s take over of a US supported Kingdom was not because he was guided by some one else. The entire Iranian population welcomed Khomeini, causing the Monarch to flee from his own country. Such take overs may be against the provisions of man made rules, laws and even constitutions. But in fact, the citizens’ unanimous move brings about the “take over’. In my opinion, it is a more realistic process than our so called elections.Recommend

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