Don’t make Pak army controversial, President Alvi tells political parties

Says ready to mediate between Shehbaz Sharif, Imran Khan

By: News Desk
Published: 07:56 PM, 12 Aug, 2022
Don’t make Pak army controversial, President Alvi tells political parties
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President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi Friday called upon political parties to refrain from bringing the Pakistan Army into political discourse, saying the military was the guarantor of national security and "it should not be made controversial".

Speaking to reporters at the Governor House in Lahore Friday, Dr Alvi said that there was a need to initiate a "consultative process" to bring all the important stakeholders of the country to a negotiation table.

"However, the constitutional role of a president does not allow him to officially reach out to the stakeholders."

The president stressed that the armed forces are responsible for the country's security and in light of their role, politicians should refrain from making the institution controversial.

"It was the armed forces' job to win the battle against terrorism; they should be respected," President Alvi said.

Dr Alvi stated that it was the primary responsibility of the government, opposition, and all the other relevant institutions to deliberate on defusing the rising polarisation in the country.

He said political parties and stakeholders needed to sit together and chalk out a way forward, especially with regard to holding free and fair elections and developing a charter of the economy that could help ease the current political and economic situation.

"Everyone will have to think about the situation we are currently embroiled in."

Alvi said that he was ready to talk to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan for the sake of the country.

“President has a constitutional role and I am willing to play any role to mediate between political leaders,” he said, adding that he was ready to talk to Shehbaz Sharif and Imran Khan for the sake of the country.

"Politicians are not sitting together at the talking table; they have to unite. If I don’t see the situation getting better, I will ask them to sit at the table. As the president, I can only ask, not order," Alvi noted.

“I will try to end the hostilities and create an atmosphere to hold elections as soon as possible,” he said. He further warned that any conflict between Centre and provinces could be dangerous.

He added that he had been "reminding all the stakeholders that things are not right".

The president went on to say that he had also been informing Imran about the management issues in Pakistan, adding that "he had his own viewpoint over the matter."

He also stressed that stakeholders within Pakistan should only be involved in hammering out issues confronting the country without any involvement of any foreign persons or a country.

President Alvi said he was "worried" that the polarization was increasing and noted that it had to end in the coming days. "Of course, politicians are not students that we’ll ask them to sit in a classroom forcefully."

"There are talks of the appointment of the army chief and judges. For the judiciary, the chief justice has stated that there should be a standard; I agree with him," the president said.

The president further said that he has signed 85 summaries sent by the prime minister and had only returned two of them relating to EVM and voting rights of overseas Pakistanis.

“Since I worked on both these matters previously, I was convinced against reversing their use in the elections,” they said.

The president said he was the main proponent of electronic voting machines for a long even during the governments of the PPP and the PML-N.

"It was me who convinced the PTI for the use of technology during elections. EVM provides extremely simple solutions to conduct free and fair elections."

He emphasised the need for consensus on the use of the technology during the election process which, he said, would strengthen the democratic process in the country.

He also revealed that he held more discussions with the incumbent prime minister compared to Imran.

Separately, the president highlighted corruption as "a major reason for the backwardness of any country". "One of the best ways to counter corruption is to make all financial transactions through formal banking channels, especially when it comes to political parties while receiving and managing donations," he suggested.

Dr Alvi opined that 90 per cent of social media was "good" as "it provides a huge chunk of information and we should learn to deal with the remaining 10pc by filtering out fake news and hearsay".

While commenting on the government talks with the proscribed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan, he said he was of the opinion that any such negotiations should be mandated by the parliament and they ought to be pursued in confidence to reach some amicable outcome. "The result should be reported back to the parliament before making them public," he said.

Dr Alvi said he respected all institutions being the head of the state.

Moving on to the prohibited funding case, the president said that the PTI was "caught in the foreign funding case" as they kept records of their accounts.

The president, explaining the funding received from abroad, said that under United States laws, if a party wants to collect funds, it has to establish a company.

"[The ECP], however, claimed that a 'company' sent us funds, whereas, it were those companies which we established in line with the US and Canadian laws," he said.

Categories : Pakistan