Ex-generals plan long march, sit-in at Army House By Rauf Klasra
The News, May 20, 2008
ISLAMABAD: Retired Army generals, including some who trained and groomed Pervez Musharraf, have planned a long march and a sit-in before the Army House in Rawalpindi to get it vacated so that Army Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani could move in.
The long march, the date of which will be announced soon, is being given final touches. The procession to force Musharraf to vacate the Army House would be led by former Army chief Mirza Aslam Beg and General (retd) Hamid Gul and about 200 retired Army officers will be there.
The presence of General (retd) Ali Quli Khan in the rally would be watched with a lot of interest by many as he was not only the course mate of Musharraf, but once the main candidate for the slot of Chief of Army staff.
Ali Quli had fallen victim to palace intrigues as Nawaz Sharif’s personal bias against him had helped Musharraf to capture the top slot. Another ex-Army general, General (retd) Faiz Chishti has been actively putting pressure on Musharraf to quit the post of Army Chief.
Talking to The News, Brig (retd) Mian Mohammad Mahmud, who is from the first PMA and an organiser of the event, confirmed that the top retired Army generals had decided to stage the long march. Brig Mahmud said efforts are under way to bring maximum number of Army generals in the demonstration as this issue concerns the reputation of the Pakistan Army.
Meanwhile, Brig Mahmud also handed over a statement on behalf of ex-Army servicemen. The statement said the common man’s urgent problems need to be addressed immediately. To examine the vital issues, a meeting of all like-minded and patriotic ex-servicemen is being called shortly, it said. A date will be announced soon, it said.