PML-N’s remarks against the alleged military establishment has kicked up a storm this week. “It is saddening that the situation has escalated to the level where we now have a state above the state, Either we have martial laws in the country or a strong parallel government is created whenever we have a civilian government. Our foremost priority is to get rid of this non-representative, incapable and selected government,” said three times former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from his self imposed exile in London singling out the Pakistani Army with his scathing remarks which have since been decried as ‘Anti Pakistan’ by Planning Minister Asad Umar.
The controversy did not stop there, however, as PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz drew the public eye when asked about PML-N leaders meeting with Chief of Army Staff Gen Bajwa. “I don’t know about a dinner, maybe it was not a dinner [but] I heard about the meeting. From what I understand it was called to discuss Gilgit-Baltistan which is a political issue, an issue of the people’s representatives, for them to solve and deliberate upon. These decisions should be made in parliament, not in GHQ,” said Maryam Nawaz, seemingly unaware that others in her party had met the COAS multiple times in the last month or so.
Some of the meetings were allegedly held in private where COAS intimated his express wish to not be dragged into politics. The secret meeting was attended by all major opposition figures as revealed by Sheikh Rasheed, a key PTI ally and a federal minister.
From the former Sindh Governor Muhammad Zubair to Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal, many party figures met with Chief of Army Staff Gen. Qamar Zaman Bajwa as Sheikh Rasheed eagerly related to the public on national television. A fact Muhammad Zubair was also willing to confirm, “As a friend, I thought I should brief him (Bajwa) on the state of economy of Pakistan and issues of governance. But at the outset of the meeting I told him in clear words that I had not come to seek relief for anyone in my party, neither had I come on the request of anyone — neither Nawaz nor anyone else.”