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Monday, April 15, 2024

Imran Khan faces heat for controversial remarks on COAS appointment

PTI Chairman Imran Khan's comments on the appointment of COAS did not sit well with many, even the IHC asked whether Imran Khan wanted to hurt the morale of the armed forces by delivering anti-military speeches.

PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing intense criticism for his controversial remarks on the appointment of Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS). Apart from PML-N and PPP leaders, even Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah expressed his disappointment over Imran Khan’s speech.

To clarify, Imran Khan, during his Faisalabad rally on Sunday, alleged that the PPP and PML-N were opposing fresh elections, because they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their choice” in November to save their skin in corruption cases.

Imran Khan also said that former President Asif 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.

Needless to say, his comments did not sit well with many, especially since the Army has requested on numerous occasions to not drag the armed forces into politics.

Read more: DG ISPR sets the record straight on Pakistan’s key issues

During today’s hearing against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) order prohibiting television channels from airing Khan’s speeches live, the IHC asked whether PTI Chairman Imran Khan wanted to hurt the morale of the armed forces by delivering anti-military speeches.

“Do political leaders deliver such speeches? Will everything be put at stake just for the sake of a ‘Game of Thrones’?” the IHC CJ asked while making a reference to the popular TV show.

“Do you want to hurt the morale of the army by giving anti-army statements? Do you think that anyone in the army is not a patriot?” the IHC CJ further questioned.

PML-N and PPP slam Imran Khan

Similarly, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari lambasted Imran Khan for his remarks.

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.

“Imran Niazi’s despicable utterances to malign institutions are touching new levels every day. He is now indulging in direct mud-slinging and poisonous allegations against Armed Forces and its leadership. His nefarious agenda is clearly to disrupt and undermine Pakistan,” Shehbaz Sharif tweeted.

In a statement on Twitter, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that the nation was now aware of the person spreading chaos in the country.

Read more: Imran Khan says not COAS’ job to contact US for help

“This man is determined to weaken the country, but we won’t let that happen,” he alleged, vowing that the government won’t let the state institutions and generals fall prey to Imran’s “lust”.