Pak Army Chief meets Sharif; reports say asked PM to step down

Both the government and military issued separate denials, dismissing the claims of army asking PM to step down as "baseless".

By: Press Trust of India | Islamabad | Updated: September 2, 2014 1:50 am
Supporters of anti-government Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri chant slogans during a protest close to Prime Minister's home in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (Source: AP) Supporters of anti-government Muslim cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri chant slogans during a protest close to Prime Minister’s home in Islamabad, Pakistan on Monday, Sept. 1, 2014. (Source: AP)

Fresh controversy erupted after Pakistan’s powerful Army Chief on Monday met Premier Nawaz Sharif to discuss ways to resolve the deepening political crisis with media reports claiming that the embattled Prime Minister was advised to step down during the meeting.

After TV channels reported that Army Chief General Raheel Sharif has advised Prime Minister Sharif to step down, both the government and military issued separate denials, dismissing the claims as “baseless”.

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Duniya TV reported that Gen Sharif has asked the Prime Minister to resign for a temporary three-month period as demanded by protesters to let an independent commission probe alleged rigging in last year’s general election.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek have been demanding that Sharif should step down for a limited period so that claims of rigging can be investigated.

A government spokesperson immediately denied and denounced rumours broadcast on TV channels. The spokesperson termed the rumours “baseless” and “fake”. Military spokesperson Major Gen Asim Bajwa also denied the reports, tweeting, “News of #Army #Chief asking #PM to resign or going on leave is baseless.”

MORE ON THE STORY: 3 dead in protests, Pakistan army meets, says won’t back off ‘playing its part’

Prime Minister Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif also dismissed the news reports as misinformation”. The Army Chief and the Prime Minister discussed the prevailing security and political situation, a senior leader of Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) told PTI.

Gen Sharif also informed the Premier about yesterday’s meeting of Corps Commanders. “The Prime Minister affirmed that no decision against the Constitution of the country and the will of Parliament will be taken,” the PML-N leader said.

Reaffirming “support to democracy”, the army yesterday reviewed with “serious concern”, the existing political crisis and the violent turn it has taken, resulting in large scale injuries and loss of lives.

The generals, who have ruled Pakistan for more than half of its history since independence from Britain in 1947, said that the “situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means”.

Khan wants the PML-N government’s ouster over alleged rigging in last year’s poll which his party lost, while Qadri wants to bring a revolution in the country. Both the leaders are agitating since August 14.

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  1. R
    Raj Kapoor
    Sep 5, 2014 at 10:44 pm
    Have you ever seen an Indian flag?
  2. R
    RK Handa
    Sep 2, 2014 at 12:04 am
    If a cricketer-turned-politician and a cleric can hold the country to ransom,disenabling security forces to restore law and order and bringing all administrative works to a halt....what would be the future of that country...?
  3. R
    RK Handa
    Sep 2, 2014 at 12:21 am
    People are not fools,after all.Since 1947 ,stan has been feeding its citizens in the name of Kashmir.It waged three wars against India to divert the attention of its people from real issues,economic conditions in the country went on deteriorating day by day,how long people could live on false facades put up by the leadership..? Aculated discontent among them resulted into a m outburst in the form of a mive agitation against the Government,which it has failed to control..,bringing into picture a second seat of power in the State-the army which has been calling upon the Government to hold dialogue with protestors,a pive intervention ,as of now in disregard of all consutional provisions of the country....
  4. R
    RK Handa
    Sep 1, 2014 at 8:30 pm
    Situation in stan is taking a turn.One one hand, protestors have launched a mive campaign calling upon the PM Nawaz Shariff to resign,on the other,Pak Army has advised both the PM as well as protestors to resolve the issue by a dialogue. What is more intriguing ,is that stan army has expressed itself against use of excessive police force against agitators.The Army has further expressed its concern over loss of precious lives in recent violence...It's a fluid situation,,,requiring just 'wait and watch...'
  5. R
    RK Handa
    Sep 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm
    Total lawlessness,dual powers of centre...civilian and army leadership,dwindling economy of the country..and uncertainity..these are the consuents of our neighbouring country..
  6. K
    Sep 1, 2014 at 5:45 pm
    stanis waving Indian flags
  7. C
    Sep 1, 2014 at 2:08 pm
    So now people who were/are criticizing the present rulers for calling off talks with that nation should realize that there are several power centers weak/strong like our own before these rulers voted into power. For any constructive achievement we need some powerful admin to implement what ever is reached during negotiations/talks other wise it would be a futile exercise and waste of time and effort. Jaihind
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