Pakistan: Opposition parties protest against role of army in Pakistan’s politics

The alliance of opposition parties plan a wave of rallies and protests starting next month. Former PM Nawaz Sharif said that the army has gone from a “state within a state” to a “state above the state.”

Opposition parties of Pakistan rallied against the ruling party and Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday, at a day-long multi-party meeting. The parties called for Khan’s resignation and a nationwide protest movement to unseat the PM.

The alliance of the opposition parties, called the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), plans a wave of rallies and protests, starting next month.

Nawaz Sharif's daughter, Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardar arrive to attend the PDM meeting (PPI/ZUMA Wire/picture-alliance)

Nawaz Sharif’s daughter, Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto Zardar arrive to attend the PDM meeting

The opposition parties are primarily protesting against the role of the army in Pakistan’s politics and demanding for a new law of accountability.

Former PM calls out army generals

Nawaz Sharif, the former PM of Pakistan and current leader of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), addressed the meeting through video, stating that the army has gone from a “state within a state” to a “state above the state.”

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif (picture-alliance/AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Former Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif

Sharif’s audio was reportedly muted on some TV channels when he named army generals for their involvement in politics and embezzlement.

“We want elected leaders to run the affairs of the country, to manage the economy and to decide on the foreign policy,” he said.

The former PM claimed that the military had rigged elections to elect Imran Khan.

“Our struggle is against those who installed Imran Khan and who manipulated elections to bring an incapable man like him into power and thus, destroyed the country,” said Sharif, who is in London since November for medical treatment. 

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Pakistan PM Imran Khan

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the head of the centre-left Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), said that the army should not have any role in politics. 

Pakistani Taliban regrouping

The PDM meeting comes at a time when Pakistan is dealing with the possible regrouping of the Pakistani Taliban in some regions.

On Sunday, the military said that two soldiers were killed in a shootout with militants in northwest Pakistan. In early September, the Pakistani Taliban said that they were responsible for killing three soldiers when a bomb exploded on the roadside in northwest Pakistan.

am/aw (dpa, AP)


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