Home Latest News Imran Khan Wants to ‘Play’ on Army Chief Appointment

Imran Khan Wants to ‘Play’ on Army Chief Appointment

PTI chief says President Alvi will consult him on the selection and they will act per law and Constitution

by Staff Report

File photo

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday claimed that President Arif Alvi will “definitely” consult him on the appointment of the next Army chief after the Prime Minister’s Office sends him the summary on it.

“We—President Arif Alvi and I—have decided to play with [the Army chief appointment] within the confines of the law and Constitution,” he told private broadcaster ARY News in an interview, reiterating his claims of not “trusting” the intentions of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) leader Nawaz Sharif. Yet, within the same interview, Khan claimed he had no interest in who became the Army chief, because the military knew the capabilities of all officers it had sent for consideration to the Ministry of Defense.

Khan’s statement suggests the party is considering delaying the appointment of the Army chief—the president can “sit on” the summary for up to 25 days by either returning it unsigned or urging the prime minister to reconsider it, though he cannot prevent it—directly contradicting earlier statements by PTI leaders in which they had claimed the president would not cause any hindrance to the process.

On the PTI’s plans to conclude its stuttering long march in Rawalpindi on Nov. 26, Khan refused to detail his next plans, claiming he would only make it public on Saturday, adding that he believed this would be the largest gathering in the history of Pakistan.

To a question on accountability and a report on the assets of Gen. Bajwa’s family, the ousted prime minister reiterated his claims of the ruling coalition amending laws to make it almost “impossible” to catch white-collar criminals. “If a public-office holder deposits looted money in the accounts of his family members or establishes an offshore company, those stashing the wealth beyond their means cannot be held accountable,” he claimed, adding that now the complainant needed to provide all the evidence.

Khan also reiterated his claims of the incumbent government damaging Pakistan’s economy, warning the country was heading toward default, which the rulers would answer for in general elections. “The country’s economy is sinking with the perceived default risk factor touching 105 percent despite the PTI leaving it at 5 percent just eight months ago,” he said, adding this had damaged investor confidence and businesses were avoiding spending money.

On perceptions that he had taken a “U-turn” on his allegations of a U.S.-backed regime change conspiracy, Khan said it was sometimes good to take U-turns. “I always spoke against the master-slave relationship and wanted that the two sovereign countries to deal on an equal footing,” he said.

He also reiterated that a diplomatic cipher had “proven” a conspiracy and regretted this had not been investigated by the Supreme Court.

To a question, Khan claimed rumors of “electables” within the PTI leaving the party were baseless as the public would reject all “turncoats.” He claimed his party had suffered in the 2018 general elections when he hadn’t personally picked all candidates.

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