Imran sent message through President for dialogue with establishment: Asif

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Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday claimed the former premier Imran Khan sent a message through President Arif Alvi to initiate discussions with the ‘establishment’.

Addressing the media, the minister said the PTI chief was “losing his nerves” as November — and the much talked about appointment of a new army chief — draws closer.

“Imran Khan has not been in his right mind and is fearful as November is fast approaching,” said Asif, adding that things will pan out according to the law and Constitution in November.

Asif went on to add that the Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s tenure is concluding by the end of this month and he should be allowed to spend time with the soldiers “respectfully”. The defence minister reiterated that the government has yet to decide on General Bajwa’s replacement.

Elaborating further, the minister said five names have come up, and according to tradition, any one of those general staff officers or someone not mentioned on the list can be appointed, adding that all three-star ranked officers were eligible for the post of army chief.

“Imran Khan acts hypocritically and lies about the security forces of Pakistan. But it is our duty to stand with the army,” he said.

He also mentioned during the media talk that general elections will be held as per schedule.

“Imran Khan bites the hand that feeds him. For as long as Khan was in power, he was indebted to someone; and look how he talks today,” Asif said, adding that Khan asks for forgiveness when meeting “them” but flares up during his rallies.

The defence minister went on to say that Khan talks about cases being pardoned by the Punjab government and questioned which of their [PML-N] cases have been pardoned.

“He should list one case of ours which has been pardoned. “A cypher is a state secret. Such confidential matters should not be made public. Imran Khan has also violated the Official Secrets Act,” he stated.

“This person will surely be held accountable. He dares government to arrest him. He will come to his senses the day he goes to jail,” he added.

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