Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa called on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and reportedly warned him not to go for the Azadi march to Islamabad on 31 October, Pakistani media reported on Thursday (24 October).
According to Geo TV, the army chief held a meeting with Rehman in which he categorically told the JUI-F chief that he stood by the constitution and democracy.
"We have been doing what the constitution asks for," the army chief reportedly said, according to Geo TV.
The TV channel claimed that General Bajwa reminded Rehman that he was a responsible political leader and must be aware of the current situation.
"The situation on the border with India is volatile due to the Kashmir crisis and Afghanistan's situation is also a source of trouble," Gen Bajwa was quoted as saying to the Geo TV anchor.
Bajwa is reported to have also referred to the Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict and told the JUI-F chief that it was not an appropriate time for staging the protest since the economy had been brought on the right track.
Bajwa made it clear that the army wouldn't permit destabilisation at this moment. "Imran Khan is a constitutional Prime Minister and neither I nor you can minus him," Bajwa was quoted by the TV channel.
The JUI-F chief has threatened to block the Pakistan capital with his protest against the "illegitimate" government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). His Azadi March, which is expected to have hundreds of thousands of participants, mainly religious hardliners from the JUI-F, is expected to enter Islamabad on 31 October.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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