Chief of Army Staff General Syed Asim Munir has said that the nation needed “stable hands and a healing touch” to move on from the politics of anarchy and polarisation as he congratulated the nation on the successful conduct of general elections.
“[Such type of politics] does not suit a progressive country of 250 million people,” the military’s media wing quoted him as saying in a statement on Saturday.
Tens of millions of people headed to the polling stations on February 8 to elect a new government amid soaring inflation and incidents of violence.
Independent candidates led the race for the National Assembly seats, according to the provisional results by the Election Commission of Pakistan.
The statement from the Inter-Service Public Relations said that elections were not a zero-sum competition of winning and losing but an exercise to determine the mandate of the people.
He was of the view that the political leadership and their workers should rise above self-interests and synergise efforts in governing and serving the people which was perhaps the only way to make democracy functional and purposeful.
As the people of Pakistan reposed their trust in the Constitution, the army chief said that it was incumbent upon all political parties to reciprocate the same with political maturity and unity
“As we move forward from this national milestone we must reflect on where the country stands today and where our rightful place should be in the comity of nations,” he said and wished that polls bring in political and economic stability and prove to be the harbinger of peace and prosperity for the country.
He also congratulated the caretaker government, the Election Commission of Pakistan, political parties and all winning candidates on the successful conduct of polls.
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“Free and unhindered participation by Pakistani people to exercise their right of vote demonstrated their commitment to democracy and the rule of law as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.”
The statement stated that leadership and personnel of law-enforcement agencies deserve “our highest appreciation for creating a safe and secure environment for the electoral process, despite overwhelming odds.”
He hailed the role played by national media, civil society, members of civil administration and the judiciary in the conduct of the “largest” electoral exercise in national history.
“Pakistan’s diverse polity and pluralism will be well-represented by a unified government of all democratic forces imbibed with national purpose. Elections and democracy are means to serve the people of Pakistan and not ends in themselves,” the army chief said.