Says trying to reduce tensions to save democracy; No harm in holding consultation on COAS appointment
President Dr Arif Alvi has said that although his constitutional role does not allow him to mediate between political parties particularly on the matter of Army Chief’s appointment, he is trying to reduce tensions to save democracy.
“I am trying to reduce tensions and bring all political parties to negotiating table to save democracy from derailing and improve situation,” the president said while interacting with a group of journalists at Governor House here on Saturday.
President Alvi, who belongs to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, said that he was playing his role as supreme commander of the armed forces to bring down the political temperature in the country.
“I don’t take instructions from Imran Khan. I am on friendly terms with him. We share same opinion but I don’t seek his counsel,” the president added.
President Alvi said negotiations are underway to reduce the friction and improve situation but matters “are being kept under wraps to so that things progress amicably”.
“I am playing a role of mediator as supreme commander of the armed forces but I am not a broker.”
Dr Arif Alvi revealed that he tried to find out a way for early elections via negotiations between the coalition government and the PTI in a bid to defuse soaring tensions between the two sides, “but all efforts failed.”
Commenting on the ongoing political situation in the county, the president said that he was in contact with the institutions that can play an effective role in resolving the matters.
Speaking about security measures being taken in the federal capital ahead of PTI’s long march to Islamabad, the president said, “Containers were used for trade across the world but in Pakistan they have been given a new use”.
President Alvi said all political parties have demanded early elections at some point in time and added that even Supreme Court had discussed the possibility of early polls to end the political deadlock.
Responding to a question about establishment’s role in politics, the president said he cannot rewrite history but can only try to
make things better.
The president said that there is no harm in holding consultation on the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff.
Dr Alvi said that it would be better if elections are held soon and the discussions should be for the stability of democratic institutions. “I keep on conveying messages,” he said adding that the constitution allows to take
Meanwhile, according to a press release from the President’s Secretariat,
President Dr Arif Alvi on Saturday said that he was trying in his personal capacity to bring stakeholders together at one table and resolve their differences to reduce political polarisation in the greater national interest, according to a press release from the President’s Secretariat.
The president said he was trying to persuade stakeholders to use democratic means of discussion, consultation and deliberation to find “mutually agreed upon solutions on major issues”.
The press release said that the president informed journalists about his efforts during an interactive session with them at Lahore’s Governor House today.
He said that he would continue his efforts toward reducing the political polarisation, adding that his efforts had made some impact towards reducing the distance from extreme positions to some extent. He said that efforts had been made and would continue to be made within the framework of the Constitution and laws of the land for bringing political stability to the country,” the press release reads.
Alvi said the country needed “strong and effective institutions” and that every endeavour should be made for strengthening and enabling them to perform their respective functions in accordance with the Constitution.
President Alvi said that all stakeholders may sit together and decide upon a “mutually agreed upon date” for the next general elections which should be held in a free, fair and transparent manner, adding that he hoped that such a move would help “reduce the political temperature”.
He also said that stakeholders should consider discussing the use of technology to bring “efficiency, transparency and fairness” in elections.
“He said that the government and institutions should focus on a greater vision and mission and should avoid getting embroiled in petty matters and issues of narrow scope.