Imran Khan has the constitutional right to criticise the armed forces, according to PTI, after senior army officers criticised the former prime minister in a press conference.
Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and Secretary-General Asad Umar spoke in a joint press conference at the time the remarks were made.
“You can argue with Imran Khan’s criticism, but whatever he says is for the army and the country’s betterment. It is his constitutional right to criticise the army,” Umar told journalists.
Umar claimed that a significant portion of the press conference by the directors of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lieutenant General Nadeem Anjum and Lieutenant-General Babar Iftikhar, was centred around PTI.
According to the PTI politician, Khan has frequently expressed his opinions on the military’s function, saying that given Pakistan’s strategic location, “a robust army is vital for Pakistan.”
Umar asserted that the PTI chairman “never” disparaged the military forces abroad, whether in the United Kingdom or the United States, and that he owns both the armed forces and the country.
“But Imran Khan does not agree to every decision of the armed forces. Are there some decisions or actions [of the armed forces] that he criticises? Yes, he definitely does that.”
The PTI leader has the right to criticise the military, according to Umar. “But all that criticism, in Khan’s eyes, is directed towards the betterment of the country and the military.”
Read More: DG ISI addresses press conference first time in Pakistan’s history
Khan, according to Umar, has never said anything to undermine the institution. The PTI leader emphasised that it was crucial for all sides to reconsider their stances.
“The political, economic, and social crises that are taking place in the country are unprecedented and early elections are the only solution for it,” Umar said.
“In the constitution where roles are defined, there are also directions regarding right to protest of people of Pakistan-@Asad_Umar #WeTrustImranKhan pic.twitter.com/BQeph1GJlB
— PTI (@PTIofficial) October 27, 2022
Khan had asked the military to utilise its clout to maintain national stability, according to Umar, and this is not “unconstitutional.” “Everything that is being talked about behind closed doors is not a secret. They have been the subject of press conferences and rallies by Imran Khan.
“However, it is important to seek answers as to why this situation is arising in the country. We need to think about it, but when we will take a look at the events that transpired, we will see that institutions have also made some mistakes,” he added.
“DG ISI said that then-prime minister Imran Khan told him that the then-opposition leader was the biggest problem in the country. He was right, it has been proven via literature that the law should be upheld otherwise a country cannot progress,” Umar said.
PTI Vice President Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated at the start of the press conference that the then-Punjab administration “attacked” the party rally on May 25.
“We could not defend ourselves. The way our people were tortured and put behind bars is in front of everyone,” the former foreign minister said.
Qureshi gave the journalists his word that the PTI’s lengthy march would be peaceful and that it will go in accordance with the Constitution in the direction of Islamabad.
Faisal Vawda, the PTI leader, held a press conference, to which Qureshi responded by saying that it was intended to instil terror among the populace because they were “excited” about the lengthy march. Fawad Chaudhry alleged during a news conference that the current administration sought to have senior journalist Arshad Sharif murdered while he was imprisoned. The news conference by military chiefs, according to Fawad, startled his party.
“The press conference held by the ISPR today, I was shocked,” he said.
“If Rana Sanaullah or Khawaja Asif hold press conference, we can respond to them. But press conference held by institutions there is a certain level of respect. We can’t respond to them,” he added.
The ex-minister added that it was crucial to respect people’s choices in addition to respecting institutions. “The people have shown who they want as the country’s leader since the day of the no-confidence motion,” he continued.