Ruling coalition criticizes Imran for making COAS appointment controversial

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The ruling coalition Monday castigated PTI Chairman Imran Khan for making the army chief’s appointment controversial and issuing remarks against the military.

In his speech at a jalsa in Faisalabad this Sunday, the PTI chairman said the coalition government is stalling the elections as they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their own choice.”

In a joint statement, the ruling coalition condemned Khan’s public meeting for spreading hatred against the Pakistan Army and its leadership and making “sensitive professional matters” controversial.

The entire nation is battling floods, while the PTI chairman is consumed by a thirst for revenge and his pride, the statement said, noting that despite the cataclysmic floods, Khan is targetting the armed forces.

The ruling partners said that the serious allegations being levelled against the military are for three reasons: to disturb the country’s economy, move Pakistan’s economy to a path that it becomes like that of Sri Lanka, and foster enmity between the nation and the armed forces.

“With the power of the Constitution and law, we will thwart this nefarious conspiracy and deal with the conspirators in line with the constitution and law,” the statement said.

The coalition government said that the country will run in line with the Constitution and it cannot be enslaved to a person’s fascism, dictatorship, and pride.

The statement added that the federal and provincial governments and the armed forces — under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — are helping flood affectees.

Apart from that, the armed forces are fighting the menace of terrorism across the country, in which the military personnel are also laying down their lives, the statement noted.

“At such a point, where the entire nation is united against terrorism, looking for economic stability, and stepping forward to help the flood-hit people, a person [Khan] is working on his agenda to divide the nation through lies and propaganda.”

The coalition government, vowing that it will not allow Khan to succeed in his “nefarious agenda”, said that they will ensure helping the flood affectees, strive for economic stability, and make sure that the armed forces are respected.

‘Agenda is to undermine Pakistan’

PM Shehbaz, in a statement on Twitter, berated Khan for maligning state institutions and said that the PTI chairman’s “despicable utterances” were hitting new levels every day.

“He is now indulging in direct mud-slinging and poisonous allegations against [the] armed forces and its leadership,” the prime minister added.

PM Shehbaz said that the PTI chairman’s “nefarious agenda is clearly to disrupt and undermine Pakistan.”

Zardari against making generals ‘controversial’

The PPP co-chairman, while referring to Khan’s speech made yesterday, said that the government will not allow him to make the institutions and generals “controversial”.

“From soldier to general, each jawan is brave and a patriot,” he added.

Terming Khan a “fitna” (mischief), the PPP leader said that his speech exposed him before the nation. He also lambasted the PTI for staging public rallies when the entire nation is trying to help flood victims.

Zardari, Nawaz ‘fear patriotic’ COAS

A day earlier, the PTI chairman said that Zardari and former premier Nawaz Sharif “fear” a strong and patriotic army chief, who could hold them accountable for the looted money they had stashed abroad.

Addressing a public meeting, he said a new army chief was going to be appointed in November this year, and they [Zaradri and Nawaz] jointly wanted to appoint a favourite [general] as the next army chief.

Both have committed corruption worth billions, and they wanted to appoint an army chief who could protect them and their corruption, Imran Khan alleged.

The PTI chair alleged that PM Shehbaz, his brother Nawaz, and Zardari had been involved in laundering the public money, and the two families had been looting the national exchequer for the last 30 years.

The PTI chair blamed the incumbent government for destroying the national economy in four months.