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President should step down if he can’t perform duties: Rabbani

Former chairperson of the upper house Raza Rabbani asked President Arif Alvi to resign if he can’t perform his duties “because of his political affiliation” and said the absence of the country’s “supreme commander” from the martyred army officials’ funeral prayers was “a matter of deep concern”.

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Meanwhile, the coalition government continued to build pressure on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) a day after the military spokesperson said the country’s armed forces and the families of martyred security personnel have expressed “deep anguish” over a “regretful social media campaign” after the recent helicopter crash in which six army officials, including a lieutenant general, lost their loves.

On Friday, President Alvi and PTI chief Imran Khan came under the social media spotlight for not attending the funeral prayers. President Alvi has played down the “unnecessary controversy on why I did not attend Janaza of the Shaheeds recently” and condemned the “despicable tweets by those who are neither aware of our culture or our religion”.

In a statement issued on Saturday, PPP Senator Raza Rabbani presented a six-point charge sheet against President Alvi and pointed out that under Article 243(2) of the Constitution, the supreme command of the armed forces vested in the president. He said the president should resign if he was unable to perform his functions as the supreme commander.

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“The supreme commander, being advised or for any other reason, not attending the funeral of the army helicopter martyrs is a matter of deep concern,” Mr Rabbani said.

Separately, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb in a press conference condemned a “social media campaign against the army by PTI trolls” and said this reflected the mindset of Imran Khan.

Meanwhile, PPP Informa­tion Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi also lamented the PTI for “running a derogatory campaign on social media” on the helicopter tragedy.

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