Islamabad, Jan 26 (PTI) Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday and discussed “professional matters” pertaining to the armed forces, amidst renewed attacks on the government by the opposition parties over its inability to control corruption.
The meeting was held in the Prime Minister’s Office.
“Professional matters pertaining to the Pakistan Army were discussed in the meeting,” according to a brief official statement.
The statement, however, did not provide any details about it.
The meeting comes a day after Transparency International reported a rise in corruption in Pakistan, showing the country dropped by 16 places to 140 position in the 2021 report of the anti-corruption watchdog, which graded 180 countries on the basis of various indicators.
The report came as the PM Advisor on Accountability Shehzad Akbar resigned over failure to bring to justice various opposition leaders allegedly involved in corruption.
Opposition parties termed the resignation of Akbar and the report as indications of Khan’s failure to tackle corruption and demanded his resignation.
To put pressure on the Imran Khan government, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance of nearly a dozen opposition parties, announced to launch a countrywide protest on March 23 to force him to resign and call new elections.
Khan has rejected the calls by the opposition as a gimmick to divert attention of the government from the cases of corruption against them. He has also warned that he would be more “dangerous” if ousted from power.
It is believed that Khan’s outburst was aimed as much against the opposition as the powerful army which indirectly controls the political system. The Pakistan Army, which has ruled the country for more than half of its 73 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
Political leaders are seldom removed from office without tacit consent of the military establishment.
In this context the meeting between Gen Bajwa and Khan has been interpreted as an important move to show that the civilian and military leadership were on the same page. Earlier today, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid dismissed rumours of a rift between the prime minister and the ‘establishment’, asserting that the premier enjoyed excellent ties with the military. PTI SH ZH ZH
This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.