Taking notice of a string of recent statements about General (retd) Raheel Sharif, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has restricted Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders from passing any more controversial remarks about the former army chief.
“PM Nawaz Sharif takes notice of the statements against Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif,” Radio Pakistan tweeted Sunday evening.
“Nawaz Sharif prohibits PML-N leaders from giving any controversial statements about General (retd) Raheel Sharif,” read another tweet shared shortly afterwards.
“The entire nation pays tribute to Gen (retired) Raheel Sharif for his meritorious services,” a third tweet by Radio Pakistan quoted the prime minister as saying.
Premier Nawaz’s directions to leaders of his party came days after Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair called Raheel Sharif ‘just another general’ and said he should not be made larger than life.
“Raheel Sharif was made larger than life and that’s the reason that when he is allotted a piece of land — which he deserves — it raises eyebrows,” Zubair told reporters at the sidelines of the ‘Leaders in Islamabad’ summit on Thursday.
“He is a normal general like any other generals and it’s his right to acquire the piece of land he was given … Let’s be fair with him — let’s not make him larger than life. This will only create more problems for him,” he said. “His [Sharif’s] job as chief of the Saudi-led alliance is also being seen as something extraordinary – when it should be his prerogative as a normal person,” the Sindh governor added.
Zubair also said “the credit for the Karachi operation goes 100 per cent to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif… although Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif also contributed a lot towards that end.”
Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique tried to dissociate the federal government from Zubair’s remarks soon after the Sindh governor made them. “The statement of the Sindh governor was his own statement and not the government’s stance,” Rafique said in a statement hours after the governor’s media talk.
Raheel Sharif’s role pivotal: Imam-e-Kaaba
Imam-e-Kaaba Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammad al Talib on Saturday said Gen (retd) Raheel will play a pivotal role in countering terrorism as head of the Saudi-led military alliance of 41 Muslim nations.
Speaking to a private news channel, he said by leading the alliance, the former army chief will only bring prestige to Pakistan.
“Pakistan is now a peaceful country … all credit for that goes to Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif and the government and people of Pakistan,” Sheikh Saleh said. “Raheel Sharif’s vast experience and knowledge will play a pivotal role in countering terrorism,” he added.
The Imam-e-Kaaba said the Saudi-led alliance will only strengthen ties between the member countries and the Muslim Ummah. He added that peace in Islamic countries will translate into peace in the world.