Did Nawaz Sharif try to give poison to Gen. Asif Nawaz?

Fawad Chaudhary, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, revealed that the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempt to give poison to General Asif Nawaz. GVS News Analysis explains how different COAS dealt with Nawaz; in the first Nawaz was installed by the ISI and in the next case Nawaz’s government was saved by an army chief.

Nawaz Sharif

Fawad Chaudhary, Federal Minister for Science and Technology, revealed that the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attempt to give poison to General Asif Nawaz. Fawad was speaking with Dr. Moeed Pirzada, a prominent Pakistani political commentator and TV host, in a talk-show Hard Talk Pakistan on 92 channel. He also revealed that “Nawaz is the establishment’s product”.

GVS News Analysis explains how different COAS dealt with Nawaz; in the first Nawaz was installed by the ISI and in the next case Nawaz’s government was saved by an army chief.

Political analysts question as to who should be blamed for Nawaz’s failure to complete his tenure as the premier; COASs or Nawaz?

Fawad is of the view that Nawaz has always been at loggerheads with the army chiefs in Pakistan. Since the beginning of his political career, Nawaz was able to sit in the premier’s seat for thrice. However, he failed to complete his tenure allegedly due to his inability to have a smooth working relationship with the armed forces.

Notably, Gen Asif Nawaz was the Army Chief from 16th August, 1991 to 8th January, 1993, and did not have cordial relations with then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

According to Rana Banerji Nawaz Sharif described Asif Nawaz as `a headstrong individual who did not give him due regard as PM’. When Asif Nawaz died suddenly after a heart attack in January, ’93, there were allegations of arsenic poisoning. “Begum Nawaz received anonymous letters from waiters at Nawaz Sharif’s Raiwind house claiming use of special cloth to polish plates on which the Chief was served refreshments. Though Asif Nawaz’s body was exhumed and an inquiry held by US forensic experts, these allegations could not be substantiated,” wrote Banerji.

Asghar Khan Case: How Nawaz was installed as PM?

In 1996, the retired Air Marshal, Asghar Khan filed a human rights petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan and accused the spy agency ISI of distributing money during the 1990 elections to get desired outcomes. The case was initiated by the air marshal after Benazir Bhutto’s Interior Minister, retired Gen Naseerullah Babar disclosed, in the National Assembly in 1994, how the ISI had distributed money to purchase the loyalty of politicians, journalists and editors so as to manipulate the 1990 elections, form the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), and affect the defeat of the PPP.

Read more: Reviewing Asghar Khan case is damaging for Nawaz Sharif only

In 1990, the PPP was in power and Benazir Bhutto was the Prime Minster of Pakistan. Just after 9 months of her election a vote of no confidence was brought against her. It is said that money was used by the ISI to bring the vote of no confidence against Benazir Bhutto and also to manage electrical victory for Nawaz Sharif.

Raheel Sharif’s support for democracy?

Shuja Nawaz, an acclaimed author on Pakistan’s military and political affairs, made an astounding revelation on Gen Raheel Shareef’s staunch support for the democracy and constitution of Pakistan in his book titled, ‘The Battle for Pakistan: The Bitter US Friendship and a Tough Neighbourhood‘. Gen Raheel Shareef through his upright move thwarted a coup attempt by former DG ISI allegedly in 2014.

Nawaz quoted Richard Olson-former United States Ambassador to Pakistan as saying that former Army Chief, General Raheel Shareef, thwarted a coup attempt in 2014.

In the chapter of the book, Mil-to-Mil Relations: Do More, Shuja Nawaz wrote that DG ISI Zaheer-ul-Islam was planning a coup with corps commander and likeminded army officers in September 2014. Army Chief Raheel Sharif foiled the coup and removed Zaheer-ul-Islam from his post.

Read more: Remembering Air Marshal Asghar Khan

Political analysts are of the view that Nawaz had an opportunity to work with different army chiefs. However, he remained unable to run a working relationship allegedly due to his focus “overtly focus on turning the army into Punjab police,” noted Fawad.


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