Pakistan’s army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has not discussed or made any promise about holding elections in 90 days, reports BBC, citing key sources privy to political developments in Pakistan.

The report has come in the wake of claims made during a press conference by the army “veterans.”

Rejecting the claims, the sources told BBC the army cannot be used for political ends by using the name of veterans. The sources debunked the claim, saying, “How could an army chief make a promise (of polls in 90 days) that is beyond his authority?”

The BBC quoted the sources as saying that the organisation of a few retired military officials does not represent all retired soldiers.

Only that organisation can be bona fide representative of retired military officials that is approved by the GHQ, the sources told the BBC, adding that the objective of such an organisation is welfare of the retired officials, not politics.

Sources said that if any retired army man wanted to join politics, there was no restriction on it. However, no one could do politics in the name of veterans, or exploit their connection with the Army for pursuance of their political ambitions.

According to the correspondent, it was being discussed by journalists and politicians on the social media that attempts have been made for creating distances between the Army and masses by giving open statements on politics and taking sides with a political party. It hurt the sentiments of supporters of other political parties, who consider the Pakistan Army as the most respectable and trustworthy institution of the country. The Army, for the first time, openly announced its position as the ‘neutral’, which followed a number of meetings between various political parties spanning over many months, ultimately making possible a constitutional change in the country.

On the social media, a question was also raised about the manner the Army was asked at the press conferences to intervene in politics, which was really regrettable. Earlier, when interventions were made in politics, the Constitution was violated and people were deprived of their basic rights, where they were at that time. Foreign conspiracy allegations were also levelled in the cases of Liaquat Ali Khan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, then why they did not think about solidarity and integrity of the country.

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