Hostile forces trying
to create wedge for
long time but will never
be successful: Bajwa

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LAHORE: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa Sunday said that Army draws its strength from people and any effort to create wedge between army and population won’t be tolerated.

The COAS expressed these views while interacting with the garrison officers and veterans in two separate interactive sessions held in Lahore Garrison. The COAS visited Lahore Garrison over the weekend. On his arrival, the COAS was received by Corps Commander Lieutenant General Muhammad Abdul Aziz.

COAS appreciated Lahore Corps for maintaining high standards of operational preparedness and training. He said that misinformation and propaganda threatens state integrity requiring timely and unified response to effectively counter speculations and rumours.

“Army draw its strength from people and any effort to create wedge between army and population won’t be tolerated. The hostile forces are trying this for a long time but they won’t succeed, Insha Allah,” COAS concluded.

Earlier in the day, the COAS visited Combined Military Hospital Lahore (CMH) and inquired about the well being of Major Haris who was manhandled and injured in a road rage incident recently.

COAS said that law will take its course. “Perpetrators, who are under arrest, will be brought to justice. No one can be allowed to take law into their hands,” the COAS assured. Gen Qamar Bajwa, during his visit of Lahore Garrison over the weekend, met the army officer who was recently tortured in an incident of road rage and assured him that the perpetrators would be brought to justice, according to a statement issued by the military’s media wing.

LAHORE: Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Bajwa visits Major Haris who was recently injured in a road rage incident, at the Combined Military Hospital in Lahore on Sunday.

Major Haris was allegedly injured by guards of PML-N MPAs Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman on Wednesday. According to the first information report lodged by his father, Haris was attacked on Ferozepur Road following a minor dispute when the vehicles of both sides had come into contact. His father said the suspects tortured his son with iron rods, injured him and fled the scene.

Video clips went viral on social media showing the men hitting the army officer with an iron rod. The clips showed the officer lying unconscious on the road and the suspects abusing him and hurling life threats.

The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement today said that Gen Bajwa visited the Combined Military Hospital in Lahore and enquired about the injured army officer’s well-being.

“COAS said that the law will take its course. Perpetrators, who are under arrest, will be brought to justice. No one can be allowed to take the law into their hands, COAS assured,” the ISPR statement added.

The COAS interacted with garrison officers and veterans in two separate interactive sessions and appreciated the Lahore Corps for maintaining high standards of operational preparedness and training.

He said that misinformation and propaganda threatened state integrity and required a timely and unified response to effectively counter speculations and rumours.

“Army draw its strength from people and any effort to create a wedge between army and population won’t be tolerated. The hostile forces are trying this for a long time but they won’t succeed,” the ISPR statement said of the army chief’s conclusions.

PML-N MPs arrested

A combination photo of PML-N leaders Khwaja Salman Rafique (L) and Hafiz Nauman (R). Photo courtesy Punjab Assembly website

According to a Dawn report, the Garden Town police on Thursday arrested PML-N MPAs Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman a day after their guards tortured an army officer.

The MPAs were arrested when they appeared in the Garden Town police station to join the investigation of the case lodged against four suspected attackers.

Acting CCPO Shahzada Sultan confirmed to Dawn the arrest of the MPAs. He said they visited the police station and offered arrest in the case.

Another police officer said both the MPAs had claimed that they were directed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to join the police investigation.

There were also reports that the police had mentioned names of the PML-N leaders in the supplementary statement of the complainant of the FIR. The FIR was lodged by retired Maj Mohammad Rashid, the father of Maj Haris who, he alleged, was attacked by the unidentified persons on Ferozepur Road following a minor dispute when the vehicles of both sides collided. He said the suspects tortured his son with iron rods, injured him and fled the scene.

Video clips went viral on social media showing the men hitting the army officer with an iron rod. The clips showed the officer lying unconscious on the road and the suspects abusing him and hurling life threats.

Earlier, the CCPO claimed the attackers were arrested. Mr Sultan told media persons that those arrested were guards of Salman Rafiq who was not present on the occasion.

He said senior police officers had been assigned the task to oversee the investigation. While dispelling impression of any favour to the suspects, he said instructions had been issued to have them punished through court.

Mr Sultan said the clash between the two sides occurred when their vehicles collided. He said the suspects used iron rods and injured the officer. As people gathered there, he said, the attackers fled and police acted swiftly and arrested them.

Salman Rafique told the media that he had condemned the attack and handed over his employees to police shortly after the incident. He said he would visit the house of the injured officer to inquire after him.

In a late night media talk, injured army officer’s lawyer Barrister Mian Ali Ashfaq said the complainant had submitted a supplementary statement to police and demanded an impartial inquiry into the case while determining the role of Khwaja Salman Rafique and Hafiz Nauman.

He said the family had no personal grudge against both MPAs and just wanted to investigate their role in the incident of inhuman torture on the army officer. He said it was the responsibility of the police to get the CCTV footage and have the forensic analysis of the mobile phones of the suspects.

“We have submitted a piece of evidence to police and hope they will investigate the matter on merit,” he said.