Gilani violated oath by criticising army: Shahbaz

Published: December 23, 2011
Shahbaz says it is “unfortunate” that  rulers are using such language against  army as has been used by the “worst enemies” of the country.

Shahbaz says it is “unfortunate” that rulers are using such language against army as has been used by the “worst enemies” of the country.

LAHORE: If Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has disagreed with Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, he has managed to maintain his silence.

But, in a rare occurence on Friday, Shahbaz lashed out at Gilani over remarks that the premier recently made about the Pakistan Army, saying it was a violation of the spirit of the oath that he has taken as the chief executive of the country.

The PM, speaking in the National Assembly on Thursday, made a direct reference and hit out at the military establishment, and said that a “state within [a] state will not be acceptable,” referring to the military’s dominance in the country’s affairs.

While most quarters hailed Gilani’s audacious speech, Shahbaz criticised the fact that for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a chief executive has severely censured the Pakistan Army. “He has committed treason and violated his oath.”

In a blanket criticism of the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership, Shahbaz said it was “unfortunate” that the rulers of Pakistan were using such language against its own army as has been used by the “worst enemies” of the country.

“The rulers’ anti-Pakistan statements show their deliberate efforts to strengthen the hidden and apparent hands of the country’s enemies who are hatching conspiracies against the country,” he said.

Switching his focus to Gilani, Shahbaz said that the PM’s remarks were a deliberate move to damage and harm the country’s interest to “appease” the country’s enemies. “But, the Pakistani people are well aware of the nefarious intentions of the country’s rulers and will hold them accountable.”

Sources within the PML-N say that Sharif’s written statement has been issued in a calculated manner. Shahbaz’s relationship with Gilani is considered more cordial than that PM’s relations with the rest of the Sharif family. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has reportedly assigned a specific role to Shahbaz – criticise President Asif Ali Zardari – and has even given Shahbaz the go-ahead to hold a public rally in Lahore on October 28, where he is expected to target Zardari.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah also took an aim at Gilani, saying that he should mend his bad governance instead of criticising the Pakistan Army. “The chief executive has full powers and instead of issuing statements against the army, he should have terminated the extensions in the tenures of the army and ISI chiefs,” he said, adding that Gilani should address party matters before questioning the credibility of the country’s institutions.

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Reader Comments (22)

  • Nadir
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:07PM

    “Spirit of the oath” has been violated! Very rich coming from the PML-N! Since when is the military above critique? Recommend

  • Altaf Khan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:24PM

    wait wait,, isn’t this the same guy who has always been critical of the armed forces and the baray bhai remarks against the armed forces while he was campaigning in azad kashmir elections? what a tool these two are !! ..Recommend

  • Ali Syed
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:24PM

    dekho keh kon raha hai

  • Wow
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:27PM

    Look, who’s talking.


  • Farhan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:34PM

    Mr Sharif, it is unfortunate that you are not supporting PM on this issue. Let the government decided how to rule country, lets wait for your turn.Recommend

  • Hammad
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:37PM

    PML-N does not let go a single chance of playing politics. When they used to criticize army when Musharraf threw them out of country, was that an obligation under oath ?
    By the way, Army also takes oath to not to interfere in politics.Recommend

  • Dec 23, 2011 - 6:46PM

    What’s wrong with the Sharif brothers? Where was the outrage when the defence ministry confessed that the military is beyond its control?Recommend

  • Mj
    Dec 23, 2011 - 6:50PM

    Army is not above criticism. Case closed, Mr. Shahbaz. Score points on some other issue.


  • Hu Jintao
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:21PM

    Military is the symbol of unity and power of the nation.
    You can criticize particular army men not the entire army.


  • It's (still) the economy, stupid
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:28PM

    the first time in Pakistan’s history, a chief executive has severely censured the Pakistan Army. “He has committed treason and violated his oath.”
    Is he saying the truth? It would have been nice if ET had published the relevant portion of the oath a Prime minister of Pakistan takes at the time of assuming the post. In all democratic countries the head of stated makes a pledge to protect the Constitution and not the army. Ripley’s believe it or not only in Pakistan prime minister takes oath not to criticize army. President Obama fired General Mc Crystal for criticizing his policies and not the other way around. Isn’t his brother is a signatory to charter of democracy where he pledged to strengthen the democratic institutions and part of the deal is that army is under the head of state. I think he is looking for cookie and his fifteen minutes of fame.Recommend

    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:38PM

    I am afraid the statement made by the Punjab CM will only add fuel to the fire and serve no useful purpose. Infact he should have supported the statutary clauses contained in the Pak constitution to strenghten any civilian govt against any outside interference. The statement is only motivated to extract political mileage in a volatile situation which might backfire on his party.


  • Cheema
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:44PM

    Mr. Shahbaz – please avoid fooling people. They are fed up of your politics of hypocricy.


  • Falcon
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:47PM

    While Mr. Shahbaz’s statment might have some merit, it is diametrically opposite to what Mr. Nawaz Sharif is touting…either it is that these brothers don’t talk or it shows inconsistency on basic issues within the highest leadership of PML-N…either of which is not a good sign for the political party


  • sher khan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 7:50PM

    Hu, i agree with you. u can critize individuals in army but to critize people in uniform is highly deplorable. Army keeps the country united.


  • Faisal Anwar
    Dec 23, 2011 - 8:29PM

    Public boss reminded public servant about his shoe size – is not violation of oath. If public boss is no good, democratic process will remove him and replace him with new boss. If public servant loves his country so much then he should resign from his job which is subsidized by tax payers for 60 years and go to the street, get peoples vote and run the country. There are no midway. Cheers,


  • Imran
    Dec 23, 2011 - 8:44PM

    Some people never learn from their past deeds!


  • amjad cheema
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:07PM

    people r fed up with hypocritic politics of Sharif brothers.


  • gp65
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:20PM

    Shahbaz criticised the fact that for the first time in Pakistan’s history, a chief executive has severely censured the Pakistan Army. “He has committed treason and violated his oath.”

    The oath is to the constitution and the country not to the army.

    Nawaz Sharif and many PML-N members have said things similar to what Gilani said. In doing so they did not commit treason and at this point neither is Gilani.

    Nawaz Sharif had dismissed Karamat and tried to dismiss Musharraf as well. Further he had sent Shahbaz to Washington to ask them to lean on the army to prevent a coup. Shahbaz should not practice double standards.

  • hedgefunder
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:26PM

    Who has’nt commited Treason in Pakistan????
    Please stand up ¬!!!


  • Ismail Sultan
    Dec 23, 2011 - 9:37PM

    If it comes to violation of oath, Prime minister is not the first one to do this!


  • antanu
    Dec 23, 2011 - 10:13PM

    and what about Nawaz Sharif lashing at Army at every given chance?


  • skakrullah khan
    Dec 26, 2011 - 5:12AM

    What is the justification for this outrageous comment by Mian Shahbaz ?
    In fact , the PM has fulfilled his constitutional obligation to caution the leadership of Armed Forces not to create a state within the state—– a most blatant violation of constitution . For years the Khaki leadership treats the legitimate civil authorities as superfluous non-entities in shaping and conducting the important aspects of our foreign relations . It swallows a major and hefty chunk of national budget , defying the the right of the parliament to scrutinise it . It defies to be accountable for terrible midadventures such as kargil . It has consistently sabotaged all initiatives of civil governments to normalise our relatioship with India which is crucial for peace and welfare of people of Pakistan . One can go on with the constitutional aberrations of the Khaki leadership . Gilani deserves appreciation for picking up courage to tell tke Khaki to show some respect for the constitional order of the state .We need to hear more of such bold voices telling the Khakis to act as servants of people of pakistan , not their masters .


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