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Pakistan Army wants cleanup before polls

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Pakistan Observer report by Afzal Bajwa


Asserting as the only unwavering institution amid political transition, Pakistan army has urged upon political leader-ship to go for law and order be-sides accountability before general elections, well placed sources told Pakistan Observer.

According to the sources, the armed forces’ top brass believes that politically elected functionaries must be held responsible for the misgivings, lacking, and blatant failures on their part. “The army does not want to share the responsibility of the outgoing government’s miserable failure in the counter terror measures,” the sources added.

“For instance,” the sources said, “army did up to mark in the Swat and Malakand operation. Consequently, the brains in uniform complain that the political ad-ministration mishandled the subsequent operations with the internally displaced person (IDPs) program on top of them,” the sources maintained.

According to the sources, the military leadership was convinced that the militants that had literally scattered after Swat/Malakand and South Waziristan operation, regained strength after dissolution of the national resolve against violent extremism.

The situation especially that of security threatening already fragile economy has warranted the army to convey these concerns through behind the scene channels besides expressing on the record ‘readiness’ to handle at least the extent of law and order that the political government could not.

According to reports, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervaiz who dashed to Karachi in the wake of worsening security of the financial capital of the country has again expressed his institution’s readiness and prepared to assist the civil administration to maintain law and order. Earlier he had expressed readiness to takeover Balochistan to arrest deteriorating state of security in the province.

After having a briefing at Corps Headquarters Karachi over the dangerous law and order situation in the city, the Army Chief expressed concerns. He was quoted as saying that the enemies of the country were targeting its financial hub to dampen the economy. He also remembered 5000 martyred troops of the army during the war on terror and said rest of their colleagues are ready to sacrifice their lives for the country.

“It is the foremost duty of Pakistan army to safeguard the solidarity of the country and the army will fulfill this responsibility at all costs,” the chief was quoted as addressing the briefing at Karachi Corps Headquarters.

The sources told Pakistan Ob-server that the Chief rushed back to the GHQ in Rawalpindi “the way generals move during the fire-fighting season.” The sources hinted that a crucial meeting between President Asif Ali Zardari and General Kayani was on cards wherein the fate of law and order across country would be decided.

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