Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has raised concerns with the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) over the appointment of the next Army chief, and said the selection should be based on merit and the coalition government led by Premier Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief Asif Ali Zardari should not be allowed to take part in the process.
“Thieves like Zardari and Shahbaz can’t appoint the next Army chief. They are liars, criminals, fugitive and coward, how will they select the army chief?” said Imran Khan at a rally in Pakistan Punjab’s Chakwal district on Monday. “Mr. DG ISPR, you would understand what I was saying. The whole nation stands with me today.”
Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, 61, would retire on November 29. There were reports, however, that Bajwa might get an extension by the Shahbaz Sharif-led government.
Raising concerns over Pakistan’s economy, Khan said the nation will not forget those traitors who imposed this “imported government” upon them, accusing the incumbent rulers of destroying the country. “Today, I will advise Pakistanis to break fear, to scare them back who make calls to threaten you,” he said.
Making reference to “deep state”, and army and ISI chiefs, Khan said, “Mr X and Mr Y threaten to our workers from secret numbers. Mr. X and Mr. Y do what you want to do. We will also do what we can in response.”
He accused the current government of running a propaganda campaign against his government when he was in power with the help of paid media houses. “The nation and Allah will not forgive you for subjecting the country to oppression by imposing thieves upon the masses. He, however, didn’t explain whom he was terming as traitor,” he said.
He said the Pakistan’s government committed an economic murder of the farmer, while exports were falling, industry was shutting down and unemployment was rising.
Khan was removed through a no-confidence vote in April and he blamed the US for bringing his downfall with the help of the current rulers. He has also blamed the army for not stopping the collapse of his government. However, the US as well as the Pakistan Army rejected the claims.
Meanwhile, a top court in Pakistan on Monday ordered the police to drop terror charges against Khan for making threatening remarks against a female judge and officials of the Islamabad Police during a rally last month. Khan had on August 20 threatened to file cases against top police officials, election commission and political opponents over the treatment meted out to his aide Shahbaz Gill who was arrested on charges of sedition.
(With inputs from PTI)
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