- Fawad Chaudhry says Khan was referring to govt’s inability to appoint army personnel to important positions.
- He says coalition govt would seek approval from Nawaz Sharif to appoint COAS.
- Former Sindh Governor Imran Ismail says people should not misinterpret what Khan said during jalsa.
PTI’s senior leader Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday said that the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) had “overreacted” because “Imran Khan had never named any generals” during his Faisalabad jalsa.
On Sunday, PTI Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan issued a defamatory statement regarding the senior leadership of the Pakistan Army during his Faisalabad address, in response to which the military had said that it was “aghast” at the statements issued against it.
Issuing a clarification over the matter, Chaudhry said that Khan was referring to the government’s inability to appoint army personnel to important positions.
The former information and broadcasting minister alleged that for the appointment of the next chief of army staff, the coalition government would seek approval from Nawaz Sharif.
Akin to Fawad, former Sindh governor Imran Ismail said that people should not misinterpret what Khan said during the jalsa.
“Consider what he said as it is because he wants an army chief who is most suitable for this position,” Ismail said in defence of Khan.
Army ‘aghast’ at Imran Khan’s ‘defamatory’ statement
A day earlier, the Pakistani Army expressed displeasure over the former prime minister’s recent statement against the military and said it was “aghast” over it.
The ISPR, in a statement, said that the army was “aghast” at the defamatory and uncalled-for statements about the senior leadership of the military by the PTI chairman during a Faisalabad rally.
The military’s media wing said that regrettably, an attempt was made to discredit and undermine the senior leadership of the army at a time when the institution was laying lives for the “security and safety of the people every day”.
The army said that senior politicians trying to stir controversies over the appointment of the COAS, the procedure for which is well-defined in the Constitution, is “most unfortunate and disappointing”.
The ISPR said the senior leadership of the army has decades-long impeccable and meritorious service to prove its “patriotic and professional credentials beyond any doubt”.
Politicising the senior leadership of the Pakistan Army and scandalising the process of selection of the COAS is neither in the interest of the state of Pakistan nor of the institution, it noted.
“Pakistan Army reiterates its commitment to uphold[ing] the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” the military’s media wing added.
Nawaz, Zardari ‘fear’ patriotic army chief
In his speech at a jalsa in Faisalabad this Sunday, the PTI chairman said the coalition government was stalling the elections as they wanted to “appoint an army chief of their own choice.”
Khan said that PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and former premier Nawaz Sharif “feared” a strong and patriotic army chief, who could hold them accountable for the looted money they had stashed abroad.
The former prime minister said a new army chief was going to be appointed in November this year, and they [Zaradri and Nawaz] jointly wanted to appoint a favourite [general] as the next army chief.
Both have committed corruption worth billions, and they wanted to appoint an army chief who could protect them and their corruption, Imran Khan alleged.
The PTI chairman alleged that PM Shehbaz, his brother Nawaz, and Zardari had been involved in laundering the public money, and the two families had been looting the national exchequer for the last 30 years.