Islamabad: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he had had enough of the deliberate attempts from the ruling coalition – the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – to malign him and vowed to give a proper reply in today’s rally in Peshawar.
PTI Chairman Imran Khan, who has been under severe criticism from both the civilian and military leadership for his remarks regarding Army Chief’s appointment, said that deliberate attempts were being made to distort his words.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the ex-PM called the PDM a “cabal of crooks”, adding that the propaganda launched by it stemmed from them being petrified of PTI’s soaring popularity.
Am following intense propaganda launched by PDM cabal of crooks against me.This stems from their being petrified of PTI's soaring popularity. Today in Peshawar jalsa I will give proper reply to all those who have deliberately been distorting my words to malign me.Enough is enough
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 6, 2022
Addressing a political rally in Faisalabad on Sunday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan lashed out at the major coalition partners – Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). He said that both parties were opposing snap elections because they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their choice” in November to save their skin in corruption cases.
Imran Khan said the army chief should be “appointed on merit” – whoever is on the top of the merit list should be appointed” to head the institution.
However, on Monday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Monday issued a strong-worded statement expressing shock over PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s comments.
In a statement, the ISPR said that the Pakistan Army was “aghast at the defamatory and uncalled-for statement” about the senior leadership of the Pakistan Army by Chairman PTI during a political rally at Faisalabad.
Expressing regret, the statement added that this was an attempt to discredit and undermine the senior leadership of the Pakistan Army, and that too at a time when the institution is laying lives for the security and safety of the people of Pakistan every day.
Attempts by senior politicians to stir controversies on the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) of the Pakistan Army are most unfortunate and disappointing.
“The procedure for which [Army Chief’s appointment] is well defined in the constitution,” the statement read.
It went on to say that the army’s senior leadership had a decades-long, impeccable, and meritorious service to prove its patriotic and professional credentials beyond any doubt.
“Politicizing the senior leadership of Pakistan Army and scandalizing the process of selection of COAS is neither in the interest of the state of Pakistan nor of the institution,” it further said.
“Pakistan Army reiterates its commitment to uphold the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.”
Similarly, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and former President Asif Ali Zardari also took a jibe at the PTI Chairman by calling his agenda “nefarious”.
Asif Ali Zardari said that the whole nation is standing with the flood victims and trying to help them in every possible way, and this person is playing jalsa jalsa.”