Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa met PML-N leader Mohammad Zubair twice in the past two months, Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said on Wednesday.
The military’s spokesperson — said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter, Maryam Nawaz were formed part of the discussion. The meetings, Gen Babar Iftikhar said, were held at Zubair’s request.
The first of the two meetings took place at the end of August — in which ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was also present — while the second took place on September 7.
The army chief made it clear during the meetings that legal problems will be solved by the courts and that political problems should be handled by the parliament.
“The army chief had said that the armed forces must be kept away from these talks,” said the DG ISPR.
Neither Nawaz nor Maryam pushed for meeting
Meanwhile, Zubair confirmed that he met the army chief at the end of August and during September.
“The first thing I told him was that I am not seeking relief for myself, the party, Maryam or Nawaz Sharif,” he said. “Neither Maryam nor Nawaz Sharif asked me to hold the meetings [with the army chief].”
Zubair said that he had a long-standing association with Gen Bajwa.
“Such meetings are kept secret,” he added.
No representative of Nawaz met army chief: Maryam
The statement from the DG ISPR came after PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz earlier stated that no representative of her father, Nawaz, had met the army chief.
In an informal conversation outside the Islamabad High Court, a journalist had asked Maryam if the “establishment” and the PML-N leadership had come to “an agreement” since Nawaz’s speeches along with hers were aired on television.
“Maybe the media should tell us why our speeches are being broadcast,” she had responded, saying “tyranny and pressure tactics” only work to a certain extent and are not always fruitful.
The PML-N leader had denied knowledge of a dinner being hosted at the General Headquarters (GHQ), adding, however, “I believe the political leadership was called over to discuss the issue of Gilgit-Baltistan”.
She had said that Nawaz has a heart condition and that she was not in favour of such a meeting.
“Gilgit-Baltistan is a political issue,” Maryam had said, adding that “it should be resolved in the parliament, not at the GHQ”.
“Neither should the GHQ summon the political leadership on such matters nor should the political leadership go there,” Maryam said.