A day after posters begging General Raheel Sharif to impose martial law in the country cropped up overnight in major cities, Pakistanis continue to be baffled by them.
Even though, the Move on Pakistan party has admitted to putting up the posters to implore the COAS to install a government of technocrats with General Raheel at the helm, many are still speculating that there are other motives behind them.
Posters begging for military coup raise eyebrows in Pakistan
In a video message posted on Facebook, civil rights activist, Jibran Nasir can be seen personally removing one of these posters near Teen Talwar in Karachi. The co-trustee of ELAJ, a social welfare trust, urged citizens who believe in a democratic Pakistan to resist these moves.
“Remove these banners and send a loud and clear message that we believe in making PMLN, PPP, PTI, MQM, JI and others accountable but we will not stand for any military intervention in politics of Pakistan. Long live democracy, long live Pakistan.”
Army distances itself from Raheel poster campaign
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Nasir said, “For me, the purpose of this campaign was and is to give the impression that democracy is a failed endeavour and clearly the Party doing this is looking to earn favours from the military not realising that in doing so they are also defaming the military which has given no indication of a coup. The Army’s job is to protect the borders and provide security not run legislative institutions.”
A day after the posters popped up in major cities of the country, the Pakistan Army distanced itself from the campaign.
“Reference posters with COAS [chief of army staff]’s picture being displayed across various cities, army or any affiliated organisation have nothing to do with it,” the chief military spokesperson, Lt Gen Asim Bajwa, tweeted on Tuesday.
Reference Posters with #COAS pic being displayed across various cities;Army or any affiliated organisation have nothing to do with it— Gen(R) Asim Saleem Bajwa (@AsimBajwaISPR) July 12, 2016
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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.
Watch Jibran Nasir's message here: