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Nawaz warns he won't let Pak Army become a Constitution-subverting 'sacred cow'

June 11, 2011 - Lahore

Pakistan Muslim League-N chief Nawaz Sharif has said in a veiled reference to the country's military that no institution should try to become a 'sacred cow'.

"This is 2011, not 1911; no one should try to become a sacred cow, nor will I let anyone become a sacred cow, to subvert the Constitution, or to play tricks on the judiciary and media," The News quoted Nawaz, as saying while addressing a condolence reference organised by the South Asian Free Media Association for slain Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad.

Without naming the army, but leaving no doubt which institution he was talking about, the former prime minister said it would have to change its mindset, and remove the causes of criticism if it wanted not to be criticised.

"When all hands rise to grab someone by the collar, that is time for introspection. Had those at the helm of affairs done introspection there would have been no incidents like Abbottabad and PNS Mehran," The Dawn quoted Nawaz, as saying.

"End your domination of foreign policy (making) if you wish the criticism to end. Our relations should be with the Afghan people and not with a single party. There should be no parallel government (of agencies) in the country," he stressed.

Nawaz said that the Kashmir cause had been damaged most by 'our own institutions', adding that keeping the national interest in mind, he could not go into details.

The former prime minister also said that he was not against any institution, but the army was under the domination of a handful of people with a specific mindset.

He said there was nothing wrong in calling for a discussion on defence budget in parliament.

"What is wrong with this demand? What is there that they (the armed forces) want to conceal from their own countrymen?" he questioned.


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