Not bothered about who next COAS will be: Imran

PTI chief says appointment of new army chief should be on merit


Our Correspondent October 05, 2022
PTI chief and former premier Imran Khan outside the courtroom after his indictment hearing at the Islamabad High Court on Sept 22, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

LAHORE:

PTI chairman and deposed premier Imran Khan on Wednesday maintained that he was not bothered about who the next Chief of Army Staff (COAS) would be as long as the appointment was made on merit.

“These people [incumbent rulers] want to appoint an army chief of their choice. This is a security threat, How can a convict appoint the army chief?” he told reporters at the Punjab Chief Minister’s Office, 90 Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam in Lahore.

The PTI chief claimed that the incumbent rulers were afraid of their corruption but he had nothing to fear.

Imran further said the US cypher – which he maintained was part of the “foreign conspiracy” to oust his government – had not gone missing but its master copy was at the Foreign Office.

“At least, they have accepted that there was a cypher,” he added.

The PTI chief said if the committee investigating the issue of the missing cypher, he would first ask it about who US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu wanted to have removed and then who was given an NRO (amnesty for corruption).

Imran has accused Lu of threatening Pakistan that led to the removal of his government.

The PTI chairman said he would not disclose the date of his party's long march because everything was recorded.

“I have kept the date of the long march to myself,” he added.

He further said Shah Mahmood Qureshi was the vice president of his party but he had not informed him about the date either.

“I think October 16 is too far away. Perhaps the by-polls won’t take place,” he hinted.

The ex-premier claimed that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) was biased and the current rulers wanted to have him disqualified in the Toshakhana case with its abetment.

He added that the challenge was that the Toshakhana case against him should be heard together with those of PPP co-chairperson and former president Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N supremo and ex-premier Nawaz Sharif.

“I didn't do anything illegal while they [Zardari and Nawaz] illegally took away expensive vehicles [from the Toshakhana] to their homes,” he maintained.
Imran said problems were sorted out through talks and the only way to end the ongoing crises were negotiations.

The PTI chief alleged that the current government had appointed the chairman of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) of its choice.
He added that the incumbent rulers wished to have subservient heads in all the country's institutions.

He further claimed that he had never seen the ECP biased to the extent at which it was now.

Imran questioned how would Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah prevent his long march from proceeding to Islamabad as the federal capital was surrounded by Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, where the PTI had its governments.

He added that Sanaullah’s threats were hollow.

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