Pak's Army, ISIS chiefs meet PM Khan after he suffers key defeat in Senate polls; Opp cries foul
Islamabad, Mar 05: The chiefs of Pakistan Army and powerful spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) met Prime Minister Imran Khan to review national issues, a day after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party suffered a humiliating defeat in a closely-contested Senate election, according to a media report.
Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday met Prime Minister Khan as part of the interactions between the civilian and military leadership on national issues. ISI Director General Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was also present during the meeting, the Dawn newspaper reported.
An official source said the meeting was held to review the "internal and external situation". However, no statement was issued by the Prime Minister''s Office, which usually issues press releases on such meetings, the report noted.
According to the report, people were quick to link the meeting to the latest political developments in the country following the Senate elections.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) candidate and former prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani defeated ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on Wednesday, in a major blow to Khan, who had personally campaigned for his Cabinet colleague.
The defeat of the finance minister in the elections to the upper house prompted calls for resignation of Khan by the Opposition leaders.
Khan hit back by announcing to seek a vote of confidence from the National Assembly on Saturday. Shaikh was defeated by a margin of 5 votes.
Criticising the meeting between Khan, the Army chief and the ISI chief, Maryam Nawaz, Vice President of the main Oppostion party Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz said the military leadership "should not have been seen" with Prime Minister Khan after the developments in the Senate polls.
She said that the Prime Minister had called and met the heads of institutions in the lawns of PM House "on the day he suffered a humiliating defeat (and) his members expressed a lack of confidence in him and voted against him".
"Is he not dragging the institutions into politics?" she was quoted as saying in the report.
She said that the meeting at this juncture does not send out good visuals.
"Institutions" should end backing of Prime Minister Khan, if they have not done so far and should restrict themselves to the constitutional and lawful role, she said.
Addressing the military leadership, she said, "you should not have been seen sitting with Imran Khan at any cost a day after he suffered a battering (and) faced the people''s and public representatives'' wrath, when he (Imran) was busy in machinations and rigging."