COAS holds Nawaz Sharif in high esteem: Shehbaz

Islamabad, March 23 : Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif has claimed that the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had told him that he had always held former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in very high esteem as he had always treated him with respect and was always ready to help the Pakistan Army, Express Tribune reported on Wednesday. Admitting that the top national-level leadership had held several meetings with the incumbent army chief, including the ones to deal with the conditions set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the PML-N stalwart disclosed that the army chief had talked about former premier’s conduct with him and the armed forces. The PML-N president made this claim at a news conference held on the heels of an unconditional apology to former PM Sharif from assets recovery firm Broadsheet LLC Chief Executive Officer Kaveh Moussavi. Shehbaz said that Moussavi’s statement has not only “vindicated” Sharif and the Sharif family members but also exposed the witch hunt in the name of so-called accountability. The officials, however, did not clarify if the army chief’s statements had come before former PM Sharif’s all guns blazing speech in Gujranwalain October 2020 or before he banned the party leadership from meeting with the army and intelligence leadership. In October 2020, Sharif had accused the army chief of toppling his government to install a “selected and incompetent” prime minister(Imran Khan) while addressing a rally of the Pakistan Democratic Movement in Gujranwala via video link from London. He had accused Gen Qamarand ISI chief Lt General Faiz Hameed of rigging the elections, removing his government, muzzling the media, pressurising the judiciary and targeting opposition politicians. Earlier in September 2020, Nawaz Sharif had barred the PML-N leadership from holding any kind of meetings with the top military leadership and intelligence officials. ACL1614

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