Confusion over Zardari's remarks about COAS

Confusion over Zardaris remarks about COAS

Islamabad - Zardari denied it in a phone conversation with a broadcast journalist while his party men neither owned nor contradicted the words of their leadership.



By Afzal Khan

Published: Thu 25 Feb 2016, 9:55 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Feb 2016, 11:59 PM

The statement earlier attributed to Pakistan People's Party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari terming Chief of the Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif's decision of not taking an extension in service 'premature' became shrouded in mystery amid vague denial by the former president.
Zardari denied it in a phone conversation with a broadcast journalist while his party men neither owned nor contradicted the words of their leadership. Zardari stunned his admirers and critics alike when his statement hit the headlines of television channels on Tuesday but he decided to deny it several hours later while talking to Hamid Mir over the phone as claimed by the host of Geo News flagship talk show 'Capital Talk' in a tweet in the late hours.
The statement from the chief of the party, which is known for its pro-democracy and anti-establishment stance, first took many by surprise and then the ambiguity maintained by the party over the denial further complicated the situation."The statement was not released from our official channel," said senior PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira but refused to comment on the statement that called the army chief's decision "premature" and stressed the "need for continuity in the military leadership".
When asked about the source behind releasing such a statement, Kaira referred to the media houses which had broadcast and published the statement and said only they could answer this question.The statement was seen contrary to the former president's initial response to the announcement of Gen.
Raheel's retirement plan last month as Zardari had hailed the decision then. Nobody from the party came forward to own or deny the words attributed to Zardari. However, party insiders said the statement was released to a few television channels from one of Zardari's close aides who usually performed this job for the party through a defined procedure.
news@khaleejtimes.com


More news from WORLD