Karachi, Sep 23 (PTI) Pakistan's main opposition party PML-N found itself in an embarrassing position on Wednesday after the military confirmed that a senior leader from the party held two meetings with Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss the future of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.
Inter-Services Intelligence chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was also present during the meetings held in the last week of August and on September 7, Pakistan Army's media wing head Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said in an interview to private new channel ARY News.
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General said both the meetings were 'requested' by senior Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and former Sindh governor Mohammad Zubair.
'In both the meetings, he (Zubair) talked about Mian Nawaz Sharif sahib and Maryam Nawaz sahiba,' Iftikhar said.
The DG ISPR said General Qamar told Zubair that legal issues would get resolved in courts while political matters in Parliament and 'the army should be not be dragged into these matters”.
PML-N supremo Sharif, his daughter and party vice president Maryam and son-in-law Muhammad Safdar were convicted in the Avenfield properties case on July 6, 2018.
Sharif, who was deposed in 2017, was also sentenced to seven years in the Al-Azizia Steel Mills case in December 2018. But, he was bailed out in both cases and also allowed to go to London for medical treatment. He was given eight weeks to return but failed to come back due to health complications.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told a press conference in Karachi that he and 14 other opposition members had recently met Gen Bajwa and Lt Gen Hameed.
Bilawal claimed they were invited to the meeting for a briefing on security issues, including issues related to India.
He took offence to the fact that a minister in the ruling government, Sheikh Rasheed, had revealed details of the meeting in the media.
Bilawal said PPP had never commented on national security meetings, which are 'in-camera, off the record' and journalists too understand not to share publicly anything said off the record. But he had to talk about the meeting with the military leadership 'out of helplessness'.
'Some irresponsible persons who have nothing to do with national security or foreign policy, and who didn't say a word in this meeting, are giving statements on every TV channel these days,' he said referring to Rasheed.
'Such actions make national security and foreign policy issues controversial,' Biulawal added.
The developments came just a few days after a conference of all mainstream opposition parties on Sunday accused the military establishment of interfering in Pakistan's politics and elections. PTI CORR SCY SCY