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Never wanted to bring my own army chief, says Imran – Pakistan

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan stated he by no means wished to convey his personal military chief and that he by no means meddled in Pakistan Army’s affairs.

In a podcast with Junaid Akram, Muzamil Hasan and TCM Originals on Thursday night time, he spoke on reviews of a “disagreement” between him and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, significantly associated to the posting of the previous chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt General Faiz Hameed.

He was responding to a query by one of many hosts, who requested him “what went wrong” with the previous premier’s relationship with the institution.

“Up until a few months ago we were hearing the ‘one page narrative’. So what happened all of a sudden. Was there an event that flipped things?” Talha Asad requested Imran.

“It is said that there was some unpleasantness over Gen Faiz’s appointment and [they said] he wants to make Gen Faiz the army chief. This is where it started,” Imran stated.

Imran then went on to offer the instance of former premier Nawaz Sharif, who in line with him, was controlling all establishments of the nation and wished to regulate the military as properly by appointing his personal military chief.

“I have never had an issue with army because I have never interfered [in their matters]. I never wanted to bring my own army chief. I always wanted to make the institutions of army, police and judiciary strong,” Imran went on to say.

“I had only one problem. I got to know [last summers] that there was a possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan and I was afraid that if the US left Afghanistan, it would have repercussions for Pakistan,” he stated, revealing that he wished Gen Faiz to remain throughout the “vulnerable winters” that adopted.

The PTI chairman additionally stated that he had began receiving information of PML-N’s marketing campaign in opposition to him final July which was one more reason why he wished to proceed with the intelligence chief, who in troublesome occasions is the “eyes and ears” of the federal government.

“To date, I have never done anything against merit,” he stated. “So I can’t even think of going against merit for the [appointment of] the army chief.”

Last yr, reviews had surfaced of an alleged standoff between the navy and the federal government over the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the brand new chief of the ISI.

The military had introduced on Oct 6, 2021 that the previous ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, had been appointed the Peshawar corps commander, whereas Lt Gen Anjum was appointed in his place. But the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had not issued an official notification of Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment till three weeks later, resulting in frenzied hypothesis of strains in civil-military relations.

After delays, the PMO had ultimately notified the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the brand new ISI chief on Oct 26.

According to specialists in defence issues, the process for appointment of the ISI director normal is neither talked about within the Constitution nor the Army Act, and all earlier appointments have been made as per traditions beneath which the military chief proposes three names to the prime minister who then makes the ultimate resolution.

‘Independent international coverage does not imply I’m anti-America’

The ex-premier, whereas speaking about his ouster and occasions main as much as that, stated that the only purpose behind your entire no-confidence saga was an impartial international coverage.

“But what is wrong in it? An independent foreign policy doesn’t mean we are anti-America. In fact, I would say I am not even anti-Indian. I am against the racist policies and Kashmir policies of BJP and RSS. Even in America, I had good relations with the Trump administration.”

The purpose US turned “against me”, Imran stated, was that he was unwilling to compromise on the insurance policies that benefitted the 22 billion individuals of Pakistan.

“They [the US] wanted us to cancel the Russia trip, stop trade with them, and limit [our] relationship with China. They are asking for bases here to stop international terrorism in Afghanistan,” he continued, asserting that he would by no means let Pakistan sabotage itself in another person’s conflict.

“They thought they could use Pakistan like a tissue paper, like they did during the war on terror,” the previous PM stated. “This is the number one reason why they conspired [against me] and then they found receptive people.”

Separately, in response to a query, Imran additionally stated that he believed Pakistan ought to by no means turn out to be part of any bloc.

During the conflict on terror, he recalled, Pakistan earned a lot disrespect, greater than 80,000 individuals within the nation died and but the nation was by no means valued. “I want us to have an independent foreign policy like India. It is a strategic ally of the US but at the same time maintains good relations with Russia,” the PTI chief stated.

“Why can Pakistan not do the same?” he questioned.

“America was never used to Pakistan standing up for itself so when we did, they hatched this conspiracy. And these stooges are now helping them in this.”

Subsequently, Imran rejected the commission fashioned by the Shehbaz authorities to probe the cipher which he had claimed contained proof of the international conspiracy in opposition to the PTI authorities.

“The only commission we will accept is that of the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan. And the condition is that an open hearing should be held on what happened from the start to the end,” he demanded.

Fallout with Jahangir Khan Tareen and Aleem Khan

The PTI chairman additionally revealed the explanation for his fallout with PTI members Jahangir Khan Tareen and Aleem Khan.

“Both of them joined the party 11 years back and contributed greatly,” he stated. “But did they join politics for the same ideals as me? I came to politics for idealism, for change and to work for a new Pakistan, a welfare state. Unfortunately, they [Tareen and Aleem] came to power not for the ideals I had. And it is clear now because they are standing with people who I have been calling out from day one.”

The variations with Tareen, Imran stated, arose when the federal government began inquiring the sugar scandal. “Whereas Aleem Khan wanted to the legalise 300-acre land he had bought along the bed of the River Ravi, which was illegal.”

The former prime minister added that each his former allies anticipated him to do the identical issues Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari did once they got here to energy.

“So the differences started then. And now, the side they have taken clearly shows that corruption doesn’t mean anything to them.”

Majority authorities

Imran additionally revealed that he wished to type a majority authorities if he gained the elections.

“When you come to power with a majority, you can amend the laws that are saving these corrupt people. I am convinced that if I don’t get majority, I won’t want to come to power,” he stated, regretting that his authorities’s “hands were tied this time”.

“What I have learned in these 3.5 years is that majority is important. Until and unless you don’t have that, you can’t bring reforms. We had a coalition government and its biggest problem was that we were vulnerable and always worried about completing the numbers,” the PTI chairman stated.

Public mobilisation and future plans

Meanwhile, revisiting his ouster, Imran stated that the emotions inside him have been bittersweet. “I am sad but I am also happy because I have never seen the nation take to the streets like this. There were record rallies in three main cities within 10 days and I wasn’t expecting it.”

The individuals, the previous premier identified, have been indignant due to three causes: a international conspiracy was hatched to topple a democratically elected authorities, thieves have been imposed on them, and defectors.

He claimed that the “conspirers” weren’t anticipating the general public to react in such a method. “They weren’t expecting that the public would stand up and come out this way. They are in shock. They weren’t even expecting that the people in the institutions will stand up like this.”

“… I think when I will give the date of the Islamabad freedom march, this is my contention that record-breaking people, in the history of Pakistan, will take to the streets,” Imran professed.

Sharing PTI’s plans if it got here to energy once more, the celebration chief stated that international specialists shall be appointed for each ministry, celebration tickets could be given to dedicated and idealistic individuals, and a tighter crackdown could be imposed on the corrupt.

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