Ex-generals demand Musharraf’s resignation
The News, January 23, 2008
RAWALPINDI: The Pakistan Army's retired generals on Tuesday asked President Pervez Musharraf to resign in the larger interest of the country and stressed that a national government must be constituted with the consultation of all the political parties, instead of holding election under the caretaker set-up.
Head of the Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society and former corps commander Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Ali Chishti, Lt-Gen (retd) Talat Masood, former ISI chief Lt-Gen (retd) Hameed Gul, Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, former corps commander Rawalpindi Lt-Gen (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani, Admiral (retd) Karamat Rehman Niazi, Admiral (retd) Iftikhar Sarosh and former provisional minister SK Tressler expressed these views while addressing a seminar and later talking to journalists.
Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Ali Chishti said that he did not trust the present caretaker set-up, adding that this was a "Qabza Group." He said that he was willing to present himself for accountability, as no one had ever been held accountable in the history of the country.
Answering a question, he said after defeat in the Kargil war, President Musharraf should have faced a court martial. In reply to another query, he said he had requested other members of the Ex-Servicemen Society to vote for qualified people and not to waste their votes on looters and turncoats.
He said the country was facing no external threat and was only facing internal threats, adding that the US could not cast an evil eye on Pakistan. Lt-Gen (retd) Talat Masood said that due to President Musharraf being in power, the three pillars of the state had been abolished and the Army had been involved in politics.
He said the tribal areas posed a great challenge to President Musharraf and he should have found a solution. Former corps commander Rawalpindi Lt-Gen (retd) Jamshed Gulzar Kiyani said he was not a member of the team, which brought General (retd) Musharraf into power, and that he became a corps commander on Nov 1, 1999.
He said he had advised Musharraf not to support the US and hold referendum, as this would only lead to failure. He said if the country had to be saved then Pervez Musharraf must resign as this was in the larger interest of the country.
On the occasion, several resolutions were passed unanimously, which stated that the presence of President Musharraf was strengthening the elements, which were destabilising the country. The resolution said a national government consisting of political leaders of all the provinces, must be formed and it should be unbiased.
The resolution demanded an independent Election Commission with the consensus of all the major political parties. The resolution lauded the measures taken by Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in which he asked the Army officers to stay away from politics and politicians.
The resolution said it was hoped that General Kayani would restore the image of the Army. The resolution further said the ex-servicemen would take part in the struggle for democracy and restoration of the deposed judges.