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Pakistan minister rejects possibility of coup as political uncertainty looms

Pakistan Defence Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif. File Pic
Pakistan Defence Minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif. File Pic

A senior Pakistani minister has rejected possibility of military stepping in and staging a coup to defuse prevailing political crisis in the country.

Islamabad, Aug 13/Nationalturk – A day before the crucial marches called by two major political forces in Pakistan to “overthrow” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government, a senior Pakistani minister rejected possibility of military stepping in and staging a coup to defuse the crisis.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by cricketer turned politician Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) of cleric and politician Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri have called for “freedom march” and “revolution march” on August 14, Pakistan’s independence day to oust  the elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N had won last year’s general election in Pakistan but Imran Khan’s PTI has been alleging that there were widespread rigging in the elections.

The politicians in Pakistan have been expressing apprehension that powerful military may intervene view of political uncertainty in the country and stage a coup to defuse the crisis.

‘Relations between govt, military cordial’

“Relations between the civilian government and military are cordial and fine,” Pakistan’s Defence Minister and close aide of PM Nawaz, Khawaja Muhammad Asif told New York-based business news service Bloomberg.

“I don’t see any possibility of military intervention or any coup in the country. The civilian government military have complete consensus, complete agreement on foreign policy,” he said.

Nawaz Sharif was ousted in a bloodless military coup by Pakistan’s former army chief General (Retd) Parvez Musharraf in 1999.

Musharraf was handpicked as army chief by Nawaz Sharif.

Asif said civilian government led by  Nawaz Sharif still have four years to complete. “We have an agenda to complete and will complete our term till 2018.”

Nawaz asks SC to form commission to probe rigging allegatons

In order to defuse tension, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had requested that the Supreme Court to form a commission to investigate Imran Khan’s allegations about rigging in the May 2013 general elections.

However, Imran has however spurned the offer and now showdown is expected between opposition parties and government tomorrow.

There are reports that government may impose curfew in parts of country tomorrow to prevent opposition workers from taking to roads and participating in “freedom” and “revolution marches”. Hundreds of workers of opposition parties, who have called for the marches, have been arrested during past one week.

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Asia News/ NationalTurk Pakistan News

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