Nawaz Sharif Says No PML-N Leader To Hold Secret Meetings With Military In Future

In the wake of reports of meetings between politicians and opposition representatives, former prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif has barred PML-N members from meeting the army officials in any capacity.

In a tweet, the ex-PM said: "In line with the constitution and to remind the armed forces of their oath, I directed all party members to refrain from meeting the army or intelligence officials in any capacity. If a meeting with the military officials is mandatory due to national security or other such issues, it will be held after the approval of the party leadership and all details will be made public."

In response to leaks about the meetings, the PML-N founder said the recent events show how 'some meetings remain top-secret and how some are disclosed to twist the fact'. "It is time to end this game," the ex-prime minister wrote.

The tweet came a day after the military spokesperson, Major Gen Babar Iftikhar, told a news channel about two meetings between army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former Sindh governor and PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair. The discussion during these meetings revolved around Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz, the spokesperson claimed.

However, Zubair admitted to meeting the army chief in a personal capacity. He rejected the impression that any relief was sought for the Sharifs in those meetings.

Before this, Railways Minister Sheikh Rasheed revealed that a delegation of parliamentary leaders met Gen Bajwa at General Headquarters, Rawalpindi.

He made this claim a day after the opposition’s all-parties conference where they announced the formation of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance against the government and called for an end to the interference of the military establishment in politics.

Meeting between Bajwa and Opp leaders

It was revealed that the opposition lawmakers met Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director-General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

The reports raised many questions, considering that opposition parties had taken a strong position against the military’s role in politics just a day earlier.

This could be a ‘routine’ meeting, as lawmakers often meet the military top brass to discuss the issues that pertain to the national security, but the secrecy that shrouded it till the word came out has given rise to speculations.

Gilgit-Baltistan issues

According to Senator Sherry Rehman, the meeting which was helon the request of the army chief was convened to discuss the ‘sensitive’ issues pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan in the wake of ‘increasing Indian aggression’.

The political issues did not come up during the meeting, said the PPP leader, adding the party agenda remained limited to the issues pertaining to the GB region. The army chief said the political parties needed to strengthen the parliamentary democracy, she admitted, refusing to give further details.

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