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Pak Prez Zardari notes with concern ‘baseless’ claims against Army by ‘certain political party’

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Islamabad, April 4: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has voiced his grave concern about the “baseless and unsubstantiated” allegations levelled by a specific political party and its few individuals against the Army for their political interests.

Zardari made the veiled jibe at jailed former prime minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party when Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Asim Munir called on the new President on Wednesday.

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During the meeting, the Army chief also extended felicitations to Zardari on his appointment as the 14th President of Pakistan last month.

An official press release issued by the Presidency said, President Zardari noted with “grave concern the baseless allegations levelled by a specific political party and its few individuals against the institution and its leadership to accrue narrow political interests and resolved to deal with such disruptive elements with an iron hand”.

Zardari was apparently referring to the attack on the role of the Pakistan Army by Imran Khan and his party on his unceremonious ouster from power in April 2022 and the reported backing the powerful establishment gave to the current dispensation led by the Pakistan Muslim League of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.

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During the meeting, the COAS apprised the president regarding the ongoing operations of the Army against terrorism and highlighted the operational preparedness against conventional threats.

The COAS also briefed Zardari about the contributions of the Army towards development initiatives, particularly in the regions of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the statement said.

Meanwhile, the President acknowledged the role of the armed forces, affirming that the army’s contributions had been instrumental in safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state.

Zardari also commended the Army’s efforts towards the social uplift of affected areas, underscoring the unwavering commitment of the Pakistan Army to national progress, the statement said.

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“The president emphasised Pakistan’s steadfast commitment against terrorism and reaffirmed the nation’s resolve to respond with full force through all elements of national power,” the statement added. (PTI)






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