Pak Affairs Politics

Retired military officers ask Musharraf to quit, hand over power to deposed CJ

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society (PESS) has urged upon President Pervez Musahharf to leave the power and appoint the deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry as the new president. The decisions taken at the PESS meeting, which was held here on Thursday under the chair of Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan, it was announced by him at a press conference. The PESS advised Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to set up an interim national government after taking over as president. It also asked him to set up an independent election commission headed by Justice (Retd) Rana Bhagwandas.

It demanded that Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan should be released or presented before a court because he was a hero of the nation. The ex-servicemen announced to join the protest demonstration of lawyers and journalists in Islamabad on February 5. Air Marshal (Retd) Asghar Khan said that President Pervez Musharraf had extended the country an irreparable loss and Pakistan could face further danger if he remained in power any more.

He said that the present caretaker government was not impartial and fair and free elections could not be expected under it. The retired Air Marshal said that Pervez Musharraf had raised the slogan of accountability after taking over in 1999 but later he took the corrupt people into his government.

He said that the PESS had not decided as yet whether or not to contact the Army General or the political parties. He said that PESS had 80,000 members throughout the country. Earlier addressing the PESS meeting, General (Retd) Mirza Aslam Beg said that Pervez Musharraf was a US agent and would remain so. He said Musharraf was anti-justice who removed the chief justice. He accused that Musharraf murdered orphans and poor children inside the Lal Masjid.

He said Pervez Musharraf had become mentally incapable and the language he used against the ex Army Generals was unacceptable. He said the Army was like a family and we respected the elders. He asked the nation to wait for the February 18 polls after which the nation would hear a good news because all the parties were talking of a national government.

Admiral (Retd) Sharif said that the first martial law in 1958 was the biggest mistake. He said we should not become slaves of the United States. He advised President Pervez Musharraf to leave the power and go home.

Lt Gen (Retd) Hameed Gul said that the country was at war internally and externally. He said fair elections and independent judiciary were our goals. He announced that the ex-servicemen would play an important role to save the country. He said that martial law was imposed by only one man and the Army was to follow the discipline. The Army was not traitor, he added.

Lt Gen (Retd) Faiz Ali Chishti said that President Musharraf should leave the power before February 18 so that solidarity of the country could be maintained. He said as Pervez Musharraf was now a retired army man, he should apply to become a member of the PESS.

Lt Gen (Retd) Majeed Malik said that Pervez Musharraf had “gone mad”. He said he was shocked to hear what Pervez Musharraf said about the retired Generals. He said, “We were in a state of war and Darra Adam Khel and the Balochistan situation was becoming dangerous with every day passing.” Musharraf had insulted the country during the last eight years, he added.

Others who addressed the gathering included Gen (Retd) Shafiq Amer, Wing Commander (Retd) Zareen Qureshi, Brig (Retd) Taj, Air Commodore (Rted) Shahid Nawaz, Group Capt (Retd) Rabnawaz, Air Commodore Farooq Mirza, Col (Retd) Sajjad Advocate, Seargent (Retd) Makil Iqbal, Capt (Retd) Zaheeruddin Babar, Flt Lt (Retd) Hameed Dasti and others.-SANA

About the author

Rubab Saleem

Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times

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