ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan paid a rare call on the army chief at the Army House in Rawalpindi late Friday to ‘felicitate’ General Qamar Javed Bajwa on his promotion, according to the military’s media wing, the ISPR.
“Chairman PTI Imran Khan called on COAS [chief of army staff]. Imran Khan felicitated [the] COAS on his promotion and appointment,” said ISPR’s Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor in a Twitter message. “Various issues came under discussion.”
Maj Gen Ghafoor didn’t give details. However, a press statement issued by PTI’s Central Media Department said Imran and Gen Qamar discussed “issues of national and international importance’ in the meeting which lasted for an hour.
PTI Spokesperson Naeemul Haque said Imran appreciated the army’s efforts and sacrifices during the ongoing war on terror and discussed the successes achieved during the countrywide counterterrorism operations. “Issues related to Afghan refugees and internally displaced persons also came under discussion,” he added.
However, a senior PTI leader – who spoke to Imran soon after the meeting – said the PTI chief and Gen Qamar also discussed the recent decision of Pakistan to join the Saudi-led military alliance and former army chief Gen (retd) Raheel Sharif’s lead role in it.
The PTI has voiced its strong reservations over these developments related to the country’s foreign policy and a senior leader of the party on Friday claimed that the PTI would take up these issues during the forthcoming sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate.
The PTI had accused government of not taking the parliament into confidence before making such decisions of utmost importance in violation of a 2015 resolution of parliament. In the resolution, Pakistan, while vowing to protect the sovereignty of the Saudi Arabia, had unanimously decided not interfere in the fast unfolding developments in the Middle East, particularly the ongoing civil war in Yemen.