Pakistan: Gen. Beg demands right for Pak Air Force to shoot down ISAF copters, drones, Sep 29, 2010

Islamabad, Sept 29 : Former Pakistani army chief, General Mirza Aslam Beg, has criticised the government for involving Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in the conflict between the executive and the judiciary, and also demanded that the Pakistan Air Force should be given the task to shoot down ISAF helicopters and drones involved in attacks in the county’s territories.

The Nation quoted Gen Beg as saying that the army chief was not supposed to be part of the statement issued after the meeting.

“This was a prohibited area for him. The president and the prime minister had involved the army chief in a matter from which he was supposed to keep away,” he added.

Referring to the implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the National Reconciliation Ordinance as a matter between the judiciary and the government, he added: “The government has set a very bad precedent – in fact done a disservice by sucking in the army chief in a field which was not his domain”.

He said it appeared that the government was trying to make the army a party to the dispute.

Gen Beg further said that the meeting that took place on Monday had quite different implications as it took place on a day when the Supreme Court was hearing a case of the government’s failure in an attempt to urge the Swiss authorities to re-open President Asif Ali Zardari’s money laundering case.

The case was earlier closed on the basis of an unauthorised communication sent by the previous government.

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