Islamabad - Yesterday distanced itself from the ‘coup posters’ while the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party alleged the government itself was behind the sinister move.

The rulers wanted to stop the opposition from demanding accountability by scaring them of military takeover, PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan told journalists here.

Banners with pictures of Army Chief General Raheel Sharif, urging him to take control of the country, had sprung up mysteriously the other day in almost all major cities of the country.

“Neither Pakistan Army nor any of its affiliated organisations have any connection to the banners…,” military’s chief spokesperson and ISPR DG Lt-Gen Asim Bajwa responded in a tweet on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said it is too early to discuss the ‘extension’ in army chief’s tenure. He termed those calling upon the army chief to take over the country fools. “Such people are fools and do not want good for the country.”

This is the second time banners have cropped up requesting the army chief to amend his retirement decision.

In February, days after General Raheel announced he would retire later this year, a little-known political party ‘Move on Pakistan’ had put up banners in 13 cities requesting the army chief to reconsider his retirement decision.

The carefully crafted message is quite ominous this time around. “Talk of leaving has become old; for God’s sake, come now,” read the posters – featuring the army chief’s photograph.

The Move on Pakistan party with no grass-root support has been registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan for the past three years and a Faisalabad-based businessman, Muhammad Kamran, is its chairman.

Chief organiser behind ‘Move on Pakistan’ Ali Hashmi said dictatorship was much better than ‘this corrupt’ government.

On January 25, General Raheel Sharif laid to rest speculation that he would continue to serve as the military chief beyond November 2016 when he is due to retire, insisting he preferred to relinquish the job – unlike two of his predecessors.

“I do not believe in extension and will retire on the due date,” the army chief said in an unprecedented statement.

By declaring his intentions well in advance, General Raheel has become the first army chief since 1998 to doff his military uniform after completing his three-year tenure. He was appointed as the country’s 15th army chief on Nov 29, 2013m and is scheduled to relinquish his office on Nov 29 this year.

Opposition Leader in the Senate Aitzaz Ahsan in his talk with media persons said the purpose of hanging such posters was to pressurise the opposition to stop it from demanding accountability by creating an atmosphere where the democracy could look fragile.

He said neither the government was in danger nor there were any chances of a military coup.

The government was trying to defame the opposition and discredit them for allegedly being anti-democracy, he said. “This is a political game being played by the government. They want the people to believe we are endangering the democracy,” Ahsan said.

Aitzaz said government could play such games but the opposition always wanted to ease things out. Bill regarding Terms of Reference (ToRs) for Panama Leaks will soon be presented before Senate, he added.

He said that he will attend the consultative meeting of opposition parties on July 19 and every party would be taken into confidence before the presentation of ToRs bill. “This will be a moral pressure on government.”

Senator Ahsan said he will brief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and present the final draft of the ToRs to the PPP chief.

Bilawal will visit Islamabad today (Wednesday) after a 24-hour stay in Karachi on return from Dubai. On July 14 he will address an election rally in Rawalakot and on July 16 in Muzaffarabad. He will also convene a consultative meeting where further strategy over Panama Leaks issue would be drafted.

To a question on Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan’s third marriage, Aitzaz said: “There is no authentic report so it is premature to comment on this.”

He condemned the Indian forces excesses in Held Kashmir and called upon the international community to take notice of the situation.