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.
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.
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.
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.