- PDM chief Fazlur Rehman castigates PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
- PM Shehbaz Sharif will appoint next army chief, stresses Fazl.
- Yousaf Raza Gillani says PTI made COAS appointment “complicated”.
MULTAN: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Monday called PTI Chairman Imran Khan a “lunatic” and stressed that the former premier wasn’t “worthy” of dialogue.
Fazl leads the multi-party alliance, PDM, which is in power and the PTI chairman has been constantly at loggerheads with the government since his ouster in April.
The PTI and the government have not been able to agree on resolving their issues in the parliament despite the passage of several months and the Supreme Court’s repeated suggestions to the Khan-led party of going back to the Parliament.
Fazl, who is also the chief of JUI-F, told a press conference that after a long struggle, people were able to get rid of Khan, and the “aftershocks” that the nation is feeling are because of his removal.
“People should join hands and help the government in holding this fitna (anarchist) accountable. We should not be giving him importance,” the PDM chief appealed to the masses.
Fazl added that the Khan was not worthy of dialogue as he disapproved of the idea of negotiating with the PTI — which terms the incumbent government “imported”.
On the appointment of the next army chief, Fazl said that it will be the decision of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. “Who is Khan to give us advice?” the PDM chief asked.
Appointing army chief ‘simple’
Taking over the press conference, PPP leader and former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said that the process of appointing the chief of army staff (COAS) is pretty simple.
“They (PTI and Khan) have complicated this matter. Imran Khan does not need to worry about the [army chief’s appointment],” the ex-premier said.
“Imran Khan should not be speaking about the appointment in his rallies […] and who is he even to speak about it in the first place?” he asked.
The PTI chief has been repeatedly targetting state institutions and asking them to hold the “thieves” in the government accountable. He has also made statements pertaining to the army chief’s appointment.
Gillani — talking about the foreign funding case — mentioned that the PTI chairman has “hidden” several assets from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
“The one (Khan) who had been calling everyone a thief should reflect on his own deeds,” Gillani added.
The case Gillani was referring to is related to foreign funding for Khan’s PTI, which an inquiry by an election tribunal has found unlawful.
PM cautions of action
Strongly denouncing the PTI chairman’s smear campaign against the state institutions, PM Shahbaz Sharif warned that those playing with the national interests will have to face the law.
In a statement issued by the PM Office, PM Shehbaz said that the manipulation of diplomatic cypher was tantamount to putting national security at stake.
The prime minister vowed that those involved in defaming the institutions would be held accountable before the law.
He accused Khan of hatching a conspiracy for creating chaos in state institutions by forging the cypher.
“Those who are caught red-handed now want to avoid punishment for their crime by defaming the institutions,” said PM Shehbaz.
“Being popular does not mean being exempt from the law. Law is equal for all,” read the statement.
He maintained that the recent audio leaks purportedly featuring Khan and other PTI leaders have exposed the unveiled truth about a serious conspiracy against the interests of Pakistan.