Vital institution: Don’t involve army in politics, says Punjab governor

Insists dialogue is the only way to save the system

Our Correspondent October 03, 2014

LAHORE: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar said on Thursday that the military is the only institution free from politics and in its absence the Taliban would have taken over the country in seven days.

“We should not involve the army in politics and that is the reason why I had expressed serious reservations when army was asked to play a role in resolving the current political imbroglio,” he said talking to Express News anchor Ayaz Khan in an exclusive interview.

He said the present crisis involved three parties – Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and government. “It will be an unfortunate thing if these three stakeholders cannot have consensus on even five people, whose decision they can rely on,” he added.

He said the only way to save the system was dialogue. “The government is serious about talks and they will soon achieve a breakthrough,” he added.

Sarwar said Pakistan has a free judiciary, which had ordered filing cases against a serving prime minister and chief minister. He said the judiciary was also not giving any concession to anyone.

He said he was a part of the negotiations with the protesting parties since day one and it was an honour that all the people trusted him in spite of the fact that he belonged to the government.

The governor said no one was going to emerge as victor from the present conflict. He said it was his desire to see electoral reforms that might stop the powerful from rigging elections.

He said people complaint about past and do not focus on their present and future. “It is not the fault of government if people losing or winning elections can get four-year’s stay. It is the fault of institutions. If our institutions were stronger this situation would not have emerged,” he added

Talking about his personal life, he said he had led a difficult life and had faced consequences of telling the truth. “I remained an MP in the UK for thirteen years and during these years I disagreed with the government 22 times. However after becoming governor, I have kept silent,” he said.

He said he did not believe in VIP protocol and had traveled in buses and taxes throughout his life. “However, after becoming governor, I am compelled to receive protocol, which I sometimes manage to set aside,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 3rd, 2014.


Malik | 7 years ago | Reply

@Arsalan "Army’s entry in politics would be a better option". "Army has many problems but they are far less than political parties". Army is usually made for geographical defense of a country. But if we look at the 67 years of history of Pakistan, it seems that the Army is actually a political force and has become the most powerful political party of the country. They ruled 80% of the time during 67 years of so-called independence.All the ills of today's Pakistan is directly or indirectly the result of their long illegitimate, immoral and unconstitutional rule of the Army. If they are not responsible for this after overwhelmingly ruling the country then who is responsible ? They never conquered any enemy's territory but conquered their own country more than 3 times. Above all, they have already established a political wing in their secret services department, which is the cause of their direct political intervention even when there is no direct government by Army, i.e., democracy etc. It means they play political even when apparently country is running under a democracy. It is totally against the professionalism of a Defense force like Army, whose task is to defend the borders of a country and not to rule their own country. That is the reason our Army never win a war with any country. They cannot win unless leave the politics for the politicians alone. It is even better for the Army itself and the Pakistan as a whole.

ObserverUSA | 7 years ago | Reply

No one know where the Punjab Governor stands.

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