LAHORE – Governor Punjab Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has said that Pakistan’s army is a neutral institution and should not be dragged into politics by the opposition parties for their vested interests.
Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani’s acceptance that establishment was neutral, should serve as a reminder for the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership to avoid hyperbole, he said during a ceremony at the Governor’s House on Saturday.
Sarwar said Pakistan Army was the army of 220 million Pakistanis, not of a single party or ideology, adding that the political parties accept only the decision that was in their favour otherwise they start blame game against the institutions.
A condolence reference was held in memory of former Prime Minister Malik Meraj Khalid and eminent businessman and social activist Seth Abid at the Governor’s House.
Talking to the media, Governor Punjab said if all political parties accept each other’s mandate and rights, then there will be no political bickering. He said the PTI government had ensured transparency in the Senate elections in Punjab, adding that a coalition party fielded a candidate, five candidates came forward from our party and five from PML-N.
After which all the PTI candidates were elected unopposed as Senators. “Had we fielded seven candidates, then there would have been talk of horse trading, but we did not do that, adding that other provinces should also adopt this practice”, he responded. Replying to a question, Sarwar said countries had been devastated, their defense establishments were first targeted, but Pakistan had the best Armed forces in the world that were capable of giving a befitting response to the enemy.
He maintained that all should stand united by the Armed Forces of Pakistan because strengthening of institutions will make the country strong.
Governor Punjab said the government had never advocated the politics of confrontation.
If some people in the opposition were talking about political reconciliation today, then the government welcomes it.
Pakistan cannot afford any kind of confrontational politics, adding, “I also give credit to Yousuf Raza Gilani who said that the Establishment is neutral.” Now, the rest of the PDM leaders were also acknowledging the neutrality of the establishment, he said.
Governor Punjab said that unfortunately there were many politicians, who accumulated wealth after coming to power, but Malik Meraj Khalid set an example by serving the nation with honesty and helping the poor.
This was why his name still lives and his services will always be cherished and remembered. His welfare organization Anjuman Khawan Islam was still working in many sectors including education and I had also decided to sponsor it, he said.
We will work together to provide facilities of education and health to the people.
The speakers paid rich tribute to Malik Meraj Khalid and Seth Abid for their social services during the seminar.