A Pakistani journalist was suspended by his news organisation on Wednesday after he made an adverse comment against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf chairman Imran Khan. During a press conference on Tuesday, Express News reporter Ahmed Mansoor asked Major General Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations, that why the Army was not acting upon the “scourge” Imran Khan like it had done with ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari.
“Nawaz Sharif is politically over and so is the case with Asif Zardari, why not tackle this scourge Imran Khan as he will also not spare anyone,” Mansoor told Ghafoor, who was addressing the press conference in connection with the July 25 Pakistan elections.
While Sharif has been handed a 10-year jail term by an accountability court following his conviction in the Avenfield Reference case, Zardari is facing a probe related to money laundering.
The military spokesperson, however, skirted the journalist’s question and replied that one should not cast aspersions about every other thing, Daily Pakistan reported. Ghafoor said at the end of the day, voters would decide the political future of the country.
Is it a question or very humble suggestion? pic.twitter.com/1l60fXQIaP
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) July 10, 2018
There have been several indications in the past that Khan enjoys the backing of the security establishment, which controls the main levers of power in Pakistan. Sharif’s efforts to assert civilian control over the military during his last term was not much of a success and his relationship with the Army was cold.
Meanwhile, Ghafoor said the army would play a non-political and impartial role in the upcoming elections. “All ‘forces’ that wanted to postpone elections have slowly faded away,” Ghafoor said. He also clarified that the army had no direct role in conducting the elections, but would assist the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in the process.