No possibility of minus-Imran, Gen Bajwa tells Maulana Fazl

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Shafaqna Pakistan:Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has reportedly made it clear to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman that “there is no possibility of a minus-Imran concept”, a TV channel has claimed in a report.

According to the channel’s anchorperson, the army chief held a meeting with Fazl ahead of the latter’s Azadi March in which he categorically told the JUI-F chief that he stood by the constitution and democracy.

“We have been doing what the constitution asks for,” the army chief reportedly said, according to the anchorperson.

The report further claimed that Gen Bajwa reminded Fazl that he was a responsible political leader and must be aware of the regional situation.

“The situation on the border with India is volatile due to the Kashmir crisis and Afghanistan’s situation is also a source of trouble,” Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying. He was further reported to have referred to the Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict and told the JUI-F chief that it was not an appropriate time for staging the protest since the economy had been brought on the right track after herculean efforts within the country and abroad.

The COAS made it clear that the army wouldn’t permit destabilisation at this moment, the anchorperson claimed. “He [Imran Khan] is a constitutional prime minister (PM) and neither I nor you can minus him,” he quoted Gen Bajwa as saying.

The anchor, who further claimed that Fazl’s meeting with the COAS was “common knowledge” and was held a few days ago, was also among the media persons who called on the premier in Islamabad on Wednesday.

Speaking to senior journalists during the meeting, PM Imran had said that he wouldn’t resign under pressure from Fazl as he has the army’s full support.

The JUI-F chief has threatened to block the federal capital with his protest against the “illegitimate” government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). His Azadi March, which is expected to have hundreds of thousands of participants — mainly religious hardliners from the JUI-F — is expected to enter Islamabad on October 31.