Irresponsible remarks against Pakistan Army will not be tolerated, says General Bajwa

Published: May 1, 2015
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Major General Asim Bajwa. PHOTO: REUTERS

Major General Asim Bajwa. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Reacting to comments made by Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain in his telephonic speech early on Friday, Director General ISPR Major General Asim Bajwa said they were uncalled for and irresponsible.

In a tweet he called MQM chief’s speech “disgusting,” he said that reference to the army or its leadership while reacting to arrest of criminals with suspected links to political parties will not be tolerated.

Read: Suspension not enough for SSP Rao Anwar: Altaf

“Irresponsible remarks and using media to incite the people of Pakistan to rise against the state will be pursued legally,” Gen Bajwa tweeted.

Read: IG Sindh suspends SSP Malir Rao Anwar after controversial press briefing

Addressing his supporters via a telephonic address at Nine-Zero early on Friday morning, Altaf had referred to the 1971 surrender of the armed forces, using it to ask why the party was looked on as traitors when some of its members sought refuge in India after fleeing prosecution in the aftermath of the 1992 operation against them.

Altaf had then also asked his supporters start “commando” training.

His speech came after SSP Malir Rao Anwar held a press conference on Thursday where alleged that the MQM had ties with Indian spy agency Raw and presented two suspects who claimed they had ties with the MQM and had received weapons training in India.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • Ahmed
    May 1, 2015 - 5:23AM

    MQM Altaf Hussain in serious trouble now Recommend

  • Factual
    May 1, 2015 - 5:49AM

    Those remarks were disgusting indeed, by any standards.Recommend

  • May 1, 2015 - 6:00AM

    Pak Army Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad! Long-live Pakistan

    Please get rid of this menace from Karachi.I think most of us living in Karachi have had enough of this organisation. People of Karachi need peace and that can only be achieved if MQM is banned and these telephonic addresses are prohibited for ever.Recommend

  • Ahmer
    May 1, 2015 - 6:01AM

    Pakistan army in big trouble now, MQM will start civil war for separate country. Recommend

  • mukhtar
    May 1, 2015 - 6:17AM

    Targeted operation is being conducted by Rangers, how on earth SSP Rao could hold press conference and demands banning MQM. At the most he could handoverbthe arrested people to Rangers for further interrogation. Rao press conference smells some deep rooted conspiracy and must be investigated and made public with in 07 days. His press conference is ill timed, uncalled for and aims to defame the law enforcement agencies

    It is a case of bad discipline and Sind government should take strict action against him for by passing channel of command. At the same time there was no need for MQM to retaliate in such manner, once they rejected the allegations there was no point in giving clarifications. Such actions only help enemies of state and we should be careful from people inside as we dont need outside help as we are self sufficient in destroying ourselvesRecommend

  • Salman - SK
    May 1, 2015 - 6:26AM

    If actions were taken timely and against all criminals across the board, regardless of their political affiliations, the perception of one party being singled out would not have gathered strength. It’s hard to understand why it is so difficult for the powers to be, to conduct operations in a fair and square manner. Deliberate perception of one party being singled-out only solidifies support and resolve of that party’s sympathizers. It’s common knowledge in Karachi that criminal elements are backed by many political and religious parties. Selective tweets, press releases, exposing criminals’ statements, and then everything hushed away without explanation, gives rise to people’s speculations, rumors, and whispers. In this day and age of fast communications and 24 hour tv channels it should not be so hard to bring out the truth. Citizens of Karachi and Pakistan will wholeheartedly support actions against killers, extortionists, and land-grabbers, no matter what party they belong to.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    May 1, 2015 - 6:27AM

    @Ahmed: Its not Altaf or anyone lese in trouble. Its Pakistan. There is still time to seize fire and take few steps back.Recommend

  • Peshawar
    May 1, 2015 - 6:31AM

    Please now do something about it, instead of just condemning his comments.Recommend

  • Karachi
    May 1, 2015 - 6:32AM

    We love mqm Recommend

  • Muhammad
    May 1, 2015 - 6:47AM

    @Ahmed:
    Unfortunately he will again make some deal with politicians and successfully achieve deferment of action against his party. When in trouble he would lick anybody’s feet to get away but soon reverts to his previous acts and that has now become a familiar pattern. He needs to be cut to size before it is too late. Mohagir brothers and sisters need to know he is not their true voice and measures need to be put in place to minimise the damage he is causing by misleading and making the Urdu speaking community feel insecure.

    Long live Pakistan
    Long live Pak army
    Traitors MurdabadRecommend

  • Nadeem
    May 1, 2015 - 7:36AM

    This issue must be taken up with the UK government so that a lid is placed on his mouth firmly, once and for all. He is not a Pakistani citizen anymore, his address on record in the UK is Agra, India, he keeps saying lot of inciting things day in and day out. He is on record telling the Indian parliament that he was not “involved in the crime of” ccreation of Pakistan! I wonder how people of Karachi vote for this cheaposter!Recommend

  • Saleem
    May 1, 2015 - 8:31AM

    Merely taking Altaf Hussain to court is not enough. Pakistani government needs to take up this matter with UK, which has become nothing but a banana republic, to not let its soil be used to attack other countries or there will be consequences. Recommend

  • Baloch
    May 1, 2015 - 8:59AM

    Altaf Hussain needs to ‘neutralized.’ Understand what I mean – ‘neutralized’ Recommend

  • Zulfiqar
    May 1, 2015 - 9:25AM

    Last night speech of Altaf Hussain clearly shows that he wants to break Pakistan and wants to make divisions among Pakistanis. Sitting in UK, he is asking public to use weapons and take army training privately, he is inciting people to violence in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Abdul Fattah Jan
    May 1, 2015 - 9:47AM

    @mukhtar:
    My dear friend,

    Before clarifying I would rather suggest you to listen the press conference of SSP Rao again. You will listen the word "recommend" after giving so called judgemental decision by you people.
    It was piece of advice, and no body can snatch this right from anyone.
    Dismissing him at critical point was sheepish act. SSP should have been given mere a chance to clarify his point.
    My consideration is that his statement is misinterpreted, and those who consider it judegemental should focus on the word "recommend". Moreover, in judgemental decisions there is a "verdict" not RECOMMENDATION.
    Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    May 1, 2015 - 10:05AM

    Do not jump to conclusions. Forget not Mujeeb and his party as well circumstances of 1971.Every human being whether in uniform or civil clothes has strong points and shortcomings. This country has seen many DG ISPR. Its a temporary appointment. One comes, serves and goes away. Every word has to be uttered with lot of care. Any twist of tongue can fuel the fire. If some thing starts in Karachi will engulf the whole country. Learn lessons from history.Recommend

  • Sri Varahadev
    May 1, 2015 - 10:09AM

    Any Major General in India who had the temerity to make a comment on social media such as that of Maj. Gen. Bajwa would have got a hiding in India.

    The arrogance of the Pakistan Army is simply breathtaking. Fundamental Principle of Democracy which requires the military to be subordinate to civilians is clearly lacking in Pakistan.

    Lesson for India is that Pakistan’s civilian Government and politicians are both unable and unwilling to rein in the Military and talking to them is a waste of time.Recommend

  • Niamon
    May 1, 2015 - 10:28AM

    Altaf should talk about introducing peace reforms and on working solution to develop the economic hub , threatening and fighting enough of that already, before death we should fear God and real khidmat of people and countryRecommend

  • Rahilla
    May 1, 2015 - 10:50AM

    MQM is totally exposed, how they are working. It is important that Army should take action against Altaf and his phone should be banned, otherwise more people will mislead as he was saying with your pocket money buy Gun.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 1, 2015 - 11:06AM

    I sure am intimidated! and a bit confused, too. This Bajwa General might like to clarify for the benefit of ordinary mortals about his own exact legal position here. I thought that our constitution does not allow people in his job to mess around with political issues in the country. Is it so or not, is this not interference in politics? Why no one speaks up?Recommend

  • m
    May 1, 2015 - 11:08AM

    M@Ahmer:
    Separate country in UK?Recommend

  • ryan
    May 1, 2015 - 11:21AM

    @Rahilla:
    Pak army also buying arms with pocket money and pocketing money also. Is it new? It is weak on part of civilian govt to contain army and lead country’s toward prosperity. Instead they kept on hovering over Kashmir and let the army take over for ever.Recommend

  • Uza Syed
    May 1, 2015 - 11:28AM

    @Abdul Fattah Jan: No, as long as in uniform and in the service of Government at our cost a policia of any rank does not have any rights to hold a press conference and make such political statements like which party should be banned and who may continue. Such delinquent ought to fired from our service henceforth.Recommend

  • saeed
    May 1, 2015 - 12:17PM

    So sad, while the world progresses, we fight amongst ourselves. In the present case, both sides are to be blamed. Our leadership, both military and civilian, have no foresight and instead of guiding masses in the right direction fight with each other. We have failed to resolve our chronic issues and making them worse. Other nations would have solved this karachi issue amicably long time ago.Recommend

  • saeed
    May 1, 2015 - 12:25PM

    Nawaz Shareef would be very happy today.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 1, 2015 - 12:31PM

    And may I ask this staff General, what does he plan to do about the politicians who in his view are making irresponsible remarks against army? Since when has he been authorised to criticise the political elites? It is time that he retires and spend his time fishing in the lake.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Bablu
    May 1, 2015 - 12:58PM

    While Army is correct in demanding MQM leadership to stop using violence for political means, it is also true that targeting a single party in Karachi is creating doubts.

    The thumping victory of MQM in NA-246 is a clear evidence that people in Karachi see Rangers operations one-side, and hence they voted in favour of MQM.

    The problem for Army is that any action against MQM can be easily painted an operation against Urdu-speaking people. And, this is what Altaf bhai is successfully doing.

    The fear among Urdu-speaking people is pushing them towards the message of MQM, no matter how criminal the party’s face is!

    All out operation against all mafias in Karachi, like clergy who use madaris for political means etc, can create an environment where people of the city will fullysupport GHQ in maintaining security in the city and the country. Recommend

  • Bablu
    May 1, 2015 - 1:21PM

    The back to back actions against MQM is pushing common Urdu-speaking towards MQM.

    The MQM people have to stop violence. Karachi and Pakistan desperately need peace.

    But, let me remind the power corridors that there is a serious need of change in strategy, the current one is back-firing!Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    May 1, 2015 - 1:30PM

    @Karachi:
    Sure, MQM as a political party is excellent with a very good grass-root ideology and we all appreciate that. However there is undeniable evidence that there is an element within the ranks of this political party that must be isolated and then eliminated.

    MQM will only rise if we purge it together.Recommend

  • Ajaz Haque
    May 1, 2015 - 2:09PM

    Then why not censor Altaf Hussain’s tirades by disconnecting his phone calls. Some of his speeches come in the category of sedition.

    An honest SSP disclosing the truth about MQM’s terrorist training is transferred and suspended and lo and behold his DSP is shot dead the next day.

    The question is, who is providing protection to MQM and why?Recommend

  • Shah Sahab
    May 1, 2015 - 2:19PM

    @Acorn Guts If TTP can be annihilated then mqm can also be wiped off.Recommend

  • Bobb Mack
    May 1, 2015 - 2:20PM

    @Sri Varahadev:

    Indian example is not a yard stick for Pakistan to follow. Pakistan’s situation demands that both Civilian Government and Army work closely. A strong Army is not only essential to keep any evil eye on our borders but given the circumstances it is the most important force to hold the country together. And currently we can do without any advice from India particularly its clandestine acts against our country.Recommend

  • Moinuddin
    May 1, 2015 - 2:23PM

    The army is acting like it owns Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jalal
    May 1, 2015 - 3:28PM

    No Army has a right to threat its citizen’s. They are paid by the Public and are public servants.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 1, 2015 - 4:08PM

    @Jalal: s
    Good point! While violence must be condemned at all times, the army brass has no role in a democracy other than to protect the country’s borders. The Nawaz Sharif flirt with the army should remind him about the fate of Bhuttos who likewise wanted to tame and cohibit with the crockodile?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Tore
    May 1, 2015 - 4:51PM

    @Ahmer:

    We will through you in the sea outside KarachiRecommend

  • Fazal Dad
    May 1, 2015 - 5:09PM

    @Sri Varahadev:
    You better work on your English than spitting venom on Pakistan and its institutions. Having said this the good General should apologize the Pir sahib of Karachi Sharif (now stationed in London) otherwise Pir sahib will curse him, his family, and his institution. It is a sin General sahib, so please apologize and never do this again. You need to understand the spiritual power of Piran Pir sahib. Recommend

  • Maqsood Ahmed
    May 1, 2015 - 5:54PM

    It seems MQM days of Establishment bonhomie ​are counted now or perhaps are counted out.Recommend

  • Adam
    May 1, 2015 - 6:53PM

    @Uza Syed:

    Political statements in Khakis wrong? Forgot Musharraf so soon?

    What goes round, comes round.

    Anyways, no need to worry here as the coward will go back on his words AGAIN. Wait till weekend.Recommend

  • Question
    May 1, 2015 - 7:06PM

    The army really rules in Pakistan. It does “military operation” against political parties and even annouces warnings to them on twitter. It even visits foriegn countries and does foriegn policy. And all this is normal for us people. Any other civil country this is unheard off. What a democracy, where army should be under political leadership.Recommend

  • woody
    May 1, 2015 - 7:10PM

    Seems to me that both the Supreme Court and Military deserve criticism. The most powerful military on the planet is regularly criticized by it’s citizens/journalist/politicians and they don’t complain – suggest the General “man up”.Recommend

  • May 1, 2015 - 7:26PM

    I think that if you will hear the whole speech of MQM chief Altaf hussain, beyond the limits of patriotism, his every word is true in the soul of implementation and reality. There is nothing biased or fabricated. He had just simply talked about the real performance of our armed forces in past years which is known to every body. First military establishment needs to reject the whole speech if it is wrong as known in history today.Recommend

  • Imran
    May 1, 2015 - 7:51PM

    @Sri Varahadev: keep your idiotic views to your own country. I wonder why noone had put on a sign that ” Dogs and Indians are not Allowed”Recommend

  • Ibrar
    May 1, 2015 - 8:28PM

    @Bablu:
    MQM’s grand victory in a recent election was not surprising but what was different this time was that despite the party’s door to door campaign in the area which is MQM home they were nearly 40000 votes shorter than expected although the percentage share of total votes remained unchanged. Interestingly MQM had already started complaining about various irregularities like late start and slow functioning as if to manufacture a reason for their anticipated lower vote total. One can say it was a thumping victory still hooray to those voters who despite an atmosphere of fear showed the courage to turn up and voted for other candidates.

    I agree Rangers dilemma is that any stern action against MQM carries risk of alienating Muhajirs. But at the same time you can not give this party of murderers a free hand. And yes some clever strategy needs to be worked out and appropriate action taken otherwise this menace will keep on growing and if unchecked could damage our country severely.Recommend

  • Farhan
    May 1, 2015 - 8:35PM

    MQM supporters are saying that SSP has no rights for press conference but please MQM supporters do notice that Altaf Hussain had admitted last night that their men goes to India. Why not asking Altaf hussain about the blames and allegations?Recommend

  • Jaffer
    May 1, 2015 - 9:06PM

    MQM needs to cut the Province nonsense and go straight for right to self determination. I am sick and tired of living in this country….. Muhajirs want separation !!!Recommend

  • Qasim
    May 1, 2015 - 9:07PM

    Urdu-speaking need to unite and lobby or force the MQM to demand a separate province, or bye bye to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Political Analyst
    May 1, 2015 - 10:15PM

    i am just going through speeches delivered few months ago from two containers where our respected two leaders criticised the political system, parliament and constitution with a reference to an umpire. I wished that as a nation we should have shown the same sensitivity.
    Further do a notorious SSP have the right to do a press conference against a party? I think the recent result of NA246 and cantonment board election results have demonstrated that Urdu speaking community has serious reservations and there is a sense of disenfranchisement amongst the coo unity.
    Further, I also wished that our national leaders or their mouth organs should have criticised the said speech.Recommend

  • Kabeer
    May 2, 2015 - 12:56AM

    How long is this cat and mouse game supposed to continue. Recommend

  • Asad
    May 2, 2015 - 1:55AM

    @ Qasim: if you analyse 1998 Census data majority of people in Karachi do not belong to Urdu speaking community.Urdu speaking were a minority then and millions more have moved from rest of Pakistan during last decade and half.

    Please Stop localizing yourself to District Central only, whole country belongs to you. People will welcome you with open arms as they did to your ancestors few decades earlier. Just think about what MQM gave them back!

    Rest of the country looked towards Karachiites for leadership in education, innovation, and professionalism. Today you have lost that edge thanks to MQM and its politics the way Jeay Sindh has destroyed Sindh University and other institutions.

    You can regain quickly if you give up victim mentality and desire to dominate whole Karachi. Think about what you have as compared to rest of country.

    People in Sibi, Jacobabad, Multan are having 10-14 hour load shedding when temperature there is 48C. You have uninterrupted electricity with less extreme weather. Every house in Karachi has gas whereas the areas which produce it are without it.

    You have best educational and health facilities in the country while rest of the country is without even basic health.

    You are better employed in government corporations, banking, insurance and other multinationals today.

    MQM and its politics coupled with ethnocentric politics of other parties,is making investment in Karachi less competitive. They are moving else where. Nations looses economically and you loose your job prospects. Recommend

  • May 2, 2015 - 3:03AM

    strong textTogether we stand with our Arms forces
    Long Live Pakistan ArmyRecommend

  • A
    May 2, 2015 - 4:43AM

    I really shocked by the views of our few friends here. How could a sane person digest A. Hussain’s speech for more than 5 minutes. How could one justify Shakeel Chota, Amir Mota,—–Kana’——–sar phata’ connections to MQM. This operation should be acroos the board no doubt but they can’t open their fire for all at the same time. “Ethinic affiliation” is the root cause behind all these comments here. To thise who are saying bye bye to Pakistan here..go jump in the sea and swim to India..your homeland. SHAME!Recommend

  • asim
    May 2, 2015 - 9:01AM

    A challenge for army reputation Recommend

  • Third Umpire
    May 2, 2015 - 11:27AM

    @Sri Varahadev: Please mind your own business. We are not concerned with what is happening in India. What is democracy? Counting of heads? No body bothers what is in those heads.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    May 2, 2015 - 12:00PM

    @A:

    What is being witnessed in Pakistan is the clash of cultures of different Nations and unnecessary use of power by the civilian and military Governments as well as non State actors! Democracy is the only avenue which is peaceful and recognises and respects the rights of all citizens to their opinions. There is no room for hegemonic entities, solidarity and transfer of surplus from one province to the other is the economic equilibrium which assures parity in the Country. Both Germany and Switzerland are the modely for Pakistan.

    .
    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    May 2, 2015 - 12:40PM

    I wonder why “Waqar” was in a deep slumber when Altaf Hussain made that infamous speech in India and wrote that letter to UK government and offering to extend the services of MQM for spying on Pakistan and safeguarding British interests in Pakistan? Oh I remember, those were days when MQM had unstinted support in the form of a certain dictator cum COAS – Musharraf.Recommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    May 2, 2015 - 7:02PM

    Disgusting remarks against any individual or institution can be extremely annoying to the targeted persons and institutions, making them inclined to take all possible action against those guilty of such conduct, including recourse to legal action.

    However, a practical problem that sometimes arises in the application of the above principle is as to who decides whether a particular statement has crossed the limits of decency and become disgusting. After all, things can be both disgusting and factual at the same time, and generally speaking, how one takes these depends on which side of the fence he or she happens to be.

    And at times, what may be considered by some as a disgusting remark may actually be no more than a loud, emotional protest by someone who may think that he is being unreasonably singled out and in view of how things are shaping up, may feel that he is being treated unfairly or worse. Again, this can be a matter of opinion and not always that of fact which, in order to attract legal punishment, have to be proved beyond any shadow of doubt. It is exactly for these reasons those who are on sure ground, and can think big normally take such things in their stride. They get on with their job without letting these things bog them down.

    While a student in UK nearly half-a-century back, I used to get yearly extensions in stay after submitting proof that I was continuing to pursue a course of study, being the purpose I had gone there for. And I have a letter received from the Home Office, signed by a senior official as:

    I am Sir,

    Your obedient servant

    And despite providing citizens far superior facilities than made available to Pakistanis, the British officials were routinely subjected to lot of criticism, even ridicule, and they just accepted the criticism, humbly explaining their version of the story at times, without resorting to threatening behaviour towards the public. They did not even take the defence that they provided excellent services to the people, rendering many sacrifices in the process. It was just taken for granted that they would render excellent services, because that is what they were appointed and paid for. As such, any lowering of service standard on their part, whether real or perceived, was assumed to open them to criticism, even ridicule, without inviting threats of legal action.

    I suppose suggesting or reminding any official of some standing in Pakistan that he was a public ‘servant’, has the possibility of being construed as ridiculing him and undermining his authority, because over here, govenment officials are routinely referred to as the ‘ruling class.’ And the perception may not be just in people’s mind but perhaps even provided for in the country’s Constitution, at least in the case of highest state officials and some institutions.

    People could justifiably claim that comparing Pakistan with UK is not fair. However, there is no harm in at least in trying to make a move in a direction which could in due course bring us somewhere near the standards prevalent in UK, or indeed in any civilized country.

    This is a general comment, not related to any particular incident, and should be taken in that spirit.

    KarachiRecommend

  • Jalal
    May 3, 2015 - 12:50AM

    @Asad:

    if you analyse 1998 Census data majority of people in Karachi do not belong to Urdu speaking community.

    Most of these who you talk about have no right of domicile in Karachi so are not the real inhabitant of Karachi/Sindh. They are immigrants and can not be given priority over locals.Recommend

  • May 3, 2015 - 2:54AM

    Nobody in the world gives a damn about Corrupt, Luxury Living Pakistani Military who creates nothing but terrorism in the world. Poor Pakistanis are helpless against these terrorists.Recommend

  • Aisha
    Jul 19, 2015 - 7:00AM

    Gen Asim Bajwa you are the biggest laughing stock in this century. What about the remarks by Khwaja Asif? What about the remarks from Zardari? Did you forget the Lal Masjid cleric who roams free and has not been prosecuted (he said stuff against the Pak army too…) So selective justice is correct right? You beleive in persecution and not prosecution I beleive….Recommend

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