Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa said that criticism on Pakistan Army will not be tolerated, adding that he absorbed the slur by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif since it was against him.
The army chief made the remarks during a military briefing to the National Security Committee of Parliament on Thursday. The meeting was attended by Leader of Opposition Shehbaz Sharif, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and others.
Amid the briefing, Bilawal asked COAS to forgive PTM lawmaker Ali Wazir, who used to make anti-army statements at public gatherings.
Responding to it, Gen Bajwa clearly said that criticism against Pakistan Army will not be tolerated, adding that Ali Wazir will have to apologies, local media reported.
When PTM leader Mohsin Dawar, during the meeting, was stopped from talking by the speaker, the army chief told him to speak openly.
“We are ready to listen to you as you are elected member,” COAS told Dawar. The army chief said that “Pashtun makes 40% of army and how we can oppose them”.
He revealed that his son is going to marry in a Pashtun family.
Pakistan to give airbases to US
Gen Bajwa on Thursday said Pakistan would not give airbases to the US.
He expressed these views while responding to questions put by political leaders who had attended a military and intelligence briefing to parliamentarians on national security and the Afghanistan situation.
“You should have put this question to the government. Why have you asked this from me?” Gen Bajwa said when first questioned on the military’s position on this issue. Later, the COAS stood by the government in saying no base would be given to the US.
Pakistan publicly refused to give military bases to the US for operations inside Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country.
Washington had requested Islamabad’s help to keep a check on the situation in Afghanistan and stop it from falling into the hands of terrorists.
A day earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan in his address on the floor of the National Assembly had said Pakistan could be a partner in peace with the US but not in conflict. He had underlined that Pakistan became a target for militants when it joined the so-called US-led war against terror and sent its army into the tribal regions.