Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan during a power show in Faisalabad on Sunday accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) led coalition government of stalling the general elections in order to appoint an army chief of their choice.
Addressing a large crowd in Faisalabad on Sunday, Imran asked why else the coalition government would be scared of holding fresh elections if it wasn’t for the appointment of the next chief of army staff. “The second reason is that the new army chief is coming in November. Zardari and Nawaz want to bring their favourite as the next an army chief because they have stolen public money,” he said, adding, “They are afraid that when a patriotic army chief comes, he will ask them about their loot.”
Responding to his statements, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tweeted and said, “He [Imran] is now indulging in direct mud-slinging & poisonous allegations against Armed Forces & its leadership,” adding that Imran’s ‘nefarious agenda’ was to disrupt & undermine Pakistan.
Imran Niazi’s despicable utterances to malign institutions are touching new levels every day. He is now indulging in direct mud-slinging & poisonous allegations against Armed Forces & its leadership. His nefarious agenda is clearly to disrupt & undermine Pakistan.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 5, 2022
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal condemned Imran for ‘polluting the political space’ and ‘pushing the country towards extreme polarisition’ while the country is grappling with the worst climate disaster, referring to the ongoing flood crisis.
While the country grapples with the worst climate disaster, Imran Niazi continues to pollute the political space and push the country towards extreme polarisation and putting blots on all state institution incl appointment of new COAS? What is his end game? More anarchy & chaos?
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) September 5, 2022
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar also commented on the statements and said, “The appointment of the Army Chief is also being viewed through the lens of his dirty politics now. Will this person now decide which chief is a patriot and which one is not?”
#عمران_خان آرمی چیف کی تعیناتی کو بھی اب اپنی گھٹیا سیاست کی نظر کرنے پر تُلا ہے۔ کیا اب یہ شخص فیصلہ کرے گا کہ کون سا چیف محب وطن ہے اور کون سا نہیں؟ عمران خان فتنے کی زندہ شکل اختیار کر چکا ہے جس کا واحد کام اپنے جھوٹ سے عوام کو صبح شام گمراہ کرنا ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/eSZCeVCAEY
— Ishaq Dar (@MIshaqDar50) September 4, 2022
Journalist Jan Achakzai termed Imran’s statements ‘an attack on the army’s leadership and integrity’.
#ImranKhan's attack on Pakistan Army's leadership and its integrity.
He tries to question the reputation of Army leadership.
🔴 For how long can he continue to get away with crossing redlines?
🔴 Seriously, for how long? pic.twitter.com/toljSVgHeD
— Jan Achakzai / جان اچکزئی (@Jan_Achakzai) September 4, 2022
Journalist Tahir Imran also noted that Imran’s assertion that certain Generals within the army were not ‘patriotic’ enough was a very ‘strong and dangerous’ statement.
Technically Imran Khan is saying here that there are General in Pakistan army that are not “patriotic” & strong enough to assume the role of military chief.
Both are very strong & dangerous statements.
Your reaction @OfficialDGISPR?pic.twitter.com/PvbYkvvzND
— Tahir Imran Mian ✈ (@TahirImran) September 4, 2022
Imran khan made the whole army leadership controversial especially the current and forthcoming COAS— one guess the military shall ask Imran khan to certify among all of the senior leadership of PAK army and then the new COAS to be finalised!! pic.twitter.com/sv6atiP6oG
— Kamran Shahid (@FrontlineKamran) September 4, 2022