Islamabad: A political party in Pakistan has put up banners across the country asking army chief General Raheel Sharif to “impose martial law” and form a “government of technocrats”, a move analysts said strengthened the view that something was cooking up.
The banners and hoardings were erected by the ‘Move on Pakistan’ party yesterday in 13 cities including Lahore, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Sargodha and Hyderabad, according to media reports.
Unlike its earlier campaign requesting Raheel to reconsider his retirement due in November, the message is quite ominous this time, Dawn reported.
A banner hanging at a traffic intersection on the thoroughfare between Chief Minister’s House and the Rangers headquarters in Karachi reads, “Janay ki baatain hui puraani, Khuda k liye ab ajao” (Talks of leaving are now old; for God’s sake now come and take over the country).
Ali Hashmi, the central chief organiser of the party, told the newspaper that “the goal of their campaign was to suggest to the army chief that after imposing martial law, a government of technocrats should be made in Pakistan and Raheel should himself supervise it”.
While the Inter-Services Public Relations remained tight- lipped on the issue, analyst Amir Rana said the latest move strengthened the view that something was cooking up.
Interestingly, the banners sprang up overnight on all major thoroughfares in the 13 cities, even in cantonment areas, despite the presence of several checkpoints and extra security.
Hashmi claimed that his party’s banners were removed in Lahore and Faisalabad in the morning.
The ‘Move on Pakistan’ party ? which has little grass-root support ? has been registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan for the past three years and Faisalabad-based businessman Mohammad Kamran is its chairman.
Kamran runs a number of schools and businesses in Faisalabad, Sargodha and Lahore.
The party came into the spotlight in February when it put up posters and banners across the country asking the army chief not to retire and “help in eradicating terrorism and corruption”.
Pakistan has a history of military interventions and so far faced four martial laws. Last military ruler Pervez Musharraf stepped down from the government in 2008.
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