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PML-N launches 'verbal war' against Pak military in Parliament

June 11, 2011 - Islamabad

The Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) has sharpened attacks on the country's military leadership over the army's rare defensive statement lashing out at its critics.

The army had expressed regret in its June 9 statement that "despite briefing the Joint Session of Parliament and deferring the ultimate findings to the Commission appointed by the Government, some quarters, because of their perceptual biases, were trying to deliberately run down the Armed Forces and Army in particular."

"This is an effort to drive a wedge between the Army, different organs of the State and more seriously, the people of Pakistan whose support the Army has always considered vital for its operations against terrorists," it added.

PML-N's Tahmina Daultana said angrily in her reaction to the statement: "They (mean to) say we are traitors!"

"We are not traitors. My forefathers have built this country. We are the people you cannot buy ... and who are not for sale," The Dawn quoted Daultana, as saying.

Army chief General Parvez Ashfaq Kayani noted that in order to confront the present challenges, it is critical to stand united as a nation, and that any effort to create divisions between important institutions of the country is not in the national interest, said the statement, adding that the participants of the conference agreed that all of them should "take cognisance of this unfortunate trend and put an end to it."

"This is something that we cannot (allow) go past (without response)," Daultana said at the start of a tirade in which she also accused the army chief of dictating policies.

Using a Punjabi metaphor for a sensible person, she demanded that Inter-Services Intelligence Director-General Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha retire from service over intelligence failure in the May 2 Abbottabad episode.

Daultana's was the second strongly-worded attack against the military leadership within four days from PML-N lawmakers vis-…-vis the May 2 covert US commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad hideout and the deadly May 22-23 militant attack on a naval base at Karachi.

Earlier, PML-N frontbencher Khwaja Mohammad Asif had attacked what he called the "convergence of interests" of the civilian and military leaderships to promote American rather the country's interests, a day after a milder criticism by opposition leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in his debate-opening speech on June 6- all after an exhaustive May 13 military briefing to an in-camera joint session of parliament.


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