Pakistan Army denies impression of imposing martial law, dispels rumors of disunity

Maj Gen Ahmed Sharif dismisses rumors about resignations within the army, terming them baseless

Major General Ahmed Sharif, the Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR), categorically dismissed any possibility of martial law being imposed in Pakistan, and reassured the public that the army stands united under the leadership of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir.

  • Pakistan Army reiterates trust in democracy.
  • It says army stands united under Gen Munir.
  • Military clarifies no officer disobeyed orders.

Addressing recent rumors surrounding resignations within the army, Pakistan’s top military spokesperson denied any such actions, labeling them as baseless and without merit.

The DG ISPR affirmed that the military leadership, including the army chief, is fully dedicated to upholding democratic principles in the country. He stressed that the army’s unity is unwavering and will persist, serving as a pillar of stability and security for the nation.

The military Friday refuted reports of martial law’s imposition in the country after an almost four-day political turmoil erupted due to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s arrest, in which army’s installations were also targeted.

“I want to say very clearly that General Asim Munir and the army’s leadership wholeheartedly support democracy and will continue to do so. The imposition of martial law is out of the question,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry told Geo News’ Shahzeb Khanzada.

“The army chief and the army’s senior leadership completely believe in democracy,” the military’s top spokesperson said.

In response to the reports which were circulating that army officers have resigned due to the ongoing chaos, the spokesperson snubbed these speculations as well.

“Despite all-out efforts of internal miscreants and external enemies, the army remains united under Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir,” Maj Gen Chaudhry said.

“The dreams of creating division within the army will remain dreams. Neither anyone has resigned nor disobeyed any order,” the army’s spokesperson added.

The statement comes after Khan criticised the military and his supporters raised the stakes by attacking military targets — torching the residence of the corps commander in Lahore and attacking the entrance to the army’s headquarters in Rawalpindi.

Violent protests took place following Khan’s arrest, in which nearly a dozen people were killed and several injured. The law enforcement agencies then began a crackdown on PTI, arresting scores of workers and top leaders.

After the supporters attacked army installations, the ISPR said that May 9, 2023 — the day when chaos gripped the nation following Khan’s arrest — would go down in history as a “dark chapter”.

The ISPR called the PTI leaders “hypocrites” for inciting their workers against the armed forces on the one hand, and praising the military — in a bid to overshadow their criticism — on the other.

The unrest in the country has come to a halt for now as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has provided blanket relief to Khan and barred authorities from arresting the PTI chief till Monday morning (May 15), after which, the government said it could arrest him, “if need be”.

In response to Khan’s fresh salvo against the army chief, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said the PTI chairman’s latest statement against Gen Munir depicted his “cheap mentality” towards the armed forces.

“His statement proves that he is the mastermind of May 9 events,” the premier said in a statement, criticizing Khan’s “baseless” allegations against a senior army official for planning to have him assassinated.

The army, which remains Pakistan’s most powerful institution, having ruled it directly for close to half its 75-year history through three coups, has warned against further attacks on its assets and has called the violence “pre-planned”.

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