Army chief’s ‘biggest fan’ makes first public appearance

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ISLAMABAD: The chairman of ‘Move on Pakistan’, the political party which has been seeking extension in Gen Raheel Shareef’s tenure, made his first public appearance at a press conference on Tuesday.

Mohammad Kamran said the army chief should not leave unless his job was finished, referring to the operation against terrorists and corruption.

The army chief is going to retire in November this year and he has announced that he will not seek extension.

However, political analyst Zahid Hussain says that such elements who try to get close to the army are not unfamiliar.

“Such elements were active during the tenure of Pervez Musharraf. They have their own interest,” he said.

“But I believe that Raheel Sharif should not have announced retirement because it has created a new debate. Moreover, it is the job of the government to decide about the retirement of the army chief,” he said. While replying a question, Mr Zahid Hussain said army could not take action against such elements rather it was the responsibility of the district government to remove the banners.

A resident of Faisalabad on condition of anonymity said Mr Kamran was not a serious person. “A few years ago customs raided and recovered non custom paid vehicles from him. Moreover, he also runs a local newspaper,” he added.

During the press conference, Mr Kamran said Mr Sharif’s services were unforgettable as he had brought peace in Karachi, Fata and Balochistan. Moreover, he has launched an operation against corruption which was a biggest issue the country faces, he added.

Talking to Dawn, Mr Kamran said after his experience with politicians he had reached a conclusion that they cannot change the fate of the country. “In the next phase, we will raise our demand at public meetings,” he said.

When asked how he had managed to display banners without seeking permission from the district management and the Capital Development Authority (CDA), Mr Kamran said he knew that he would never get the permission so he did not bother to get their approval.

“We have been getting calls from the administrations of Sargodha, Rawalpindi and Faisalabad that we have violated the rules and the banner will be removed if we don’t remove them on our own,” he said.

In the CDA, there was no one to speak on record. However, an official requesting anonymity said though the banners were displayed in violation of rules, the CDA didn’t want to get involved in any controversy.

“If we get direction from our seniors, we will remove the banners,” he said.

Chief organiser of the campaign, Ali Hashmi claimed that as many as 5,000 banners had been displayed in different cities of Punjab and Islamabad.