‘Absolutely not’:
Pak army denies
involvement in
political development

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ISLAMABAD: The director general of the military’s media wing, ISPR, said on Sunday the army had “nothing to do with” latest political developments, referring to the deputy speaker of the National Assembly disallowing a no-trust vote against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The country was thrown into uncertainty as Khan dodged an attempt to oust him and sought fresh elections. The president of Pakistan subsequently dissolved the National Assembly on the advise of the PM.

Pakistan’s military spokesperson Major General Babar Iftikhar

“Whatever happened today, the institution has nothing to do with it,” Major General Babar Iftikhar, the head of the military’s public relations wing, told media in response to a question about the military’s involvement in Sunday’s developments.

“There is no involvement of the institution in these developments and there is no connection,” the spokesman said.

To a question on whether the military’s consent or advice was sought before taking the decisions, General Iftikhar said: “Absolutely not.”

The opposition and analysts say Khan, an international cricket champion-turned-politician, rose to power in 2018 through the backing of the powerful military. Both the PM and the army deny this.

Analysts now say Khan has fallen out with the army, a charge he and the military deny. The word “neutral” has entered the political lexicon in Pakistan in recent days in a veiled reference to the military no longer backing Khan and deciding not to take sides in politics.