NDU workshop: No compromise on Constitution, army’s honour, says Gen Munir

By admin Dec7,2022

ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff Gen Asim Munir has reaffirmed a commitment made by his predecessor to stay away from politics, and declared he would not compromise the supremacy of the constitution and the honour of his institution.

Regarding the legislation done on extension in service of army chief, he said the parliament is free to undo that if it desires so as lawmaking does not fall in army’s domain. The army’s job, he explained, is to share its input with the federal government and follow its order instead of dictating it.

Gen Asim expressed these views during a meeting with the participants of the national security workshop of National Defense University in General Headquarters, Rawalpindi. The workshop was specifically designed for Balochistan-related issues, hence majority of its participants were from that province. However, the political affairs and the role of the army also came under discussion. Regarding Balochistan, he said he would try to minimise the role of the army there.

One participant went on to seek his comment on the recent statement of Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and Chaudhry Moonis Elahi that former army chief Gen (R) Qamar Javed Bajwa had instructed them to join hands with PTI during the no-confidence motion and chief minister’s replacement. Gen Asim was asked why his predecessor played this political role if the army had decided to pull out of politics.

Responding to this, Gen Asim said that since he is not privy to that matter, he cannot vouch for the credibility of this claim, but maintained the army’s decision to remain apolitical is firm. If their (Chaudhrys) claim has any iota of truth, Gen Asim asked, why they did not apply their own mind instead of seeking advice from the then army chief.

The decision to pull out of politics was not the army chief’s alone, Gen Asim said. Those who understand army’s culture, he went on to explain, will agree that people are at liberty to speak out their mind and differ. However, all of them abide by it without any ‘if’ and ‘but’, he added.

Gen Asim said people who know him would testify that he has have always held the constitution supreme and would keep doing so as the army chief.

He reinforced his point by declaring that he would never compromise the supremacy of the constitution and the honour of his institution. He said the army’s job is to give its opinion on a certain issue and it is the federal government’s job to make decisions whatever it considers right. The army’s role is not to dictate the government, he explained.

A participant drew his attention towards the chaos-like situation that emerged on the issue of the appointment of army chief before formal announcement of the decision, and asked what if a criterion is laid out that the most senior general would be appointed chief much like the senior most judge is named the chief justice.

Further, the participant went on to ask should not the legislation made in 2019 regarding extension in service to the army chief be abolished?

Responding to this, Gen Asim said that since it was the job of the federal government and the parliament to undo this law, this should be demanded of them.

When another participant recited referring to Allama Iqbal poetry (O ethereal bird! it is better to starve to death than to live on a prey that clogs thy wings in flight), and asked shouldn’t Pakistan’s economy be Islamised, Gen Asim responded that for this to happen, Pakistan should bring itself to a level where it can dictate the world instead of depending on them.

December 6, 2022

Source: https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/1017608-ndu-workshop-no-compromise-on-constitution-army-s-honour-says-gen-munir

By admin

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