Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Imran Khan says he only talked about appointment of COAS on merit

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman and former prime minister Imran Khan has clarified that he did not talk about the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s extension but urged to maintain merit and defer the appointment of the army chief until fresh elections, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Imran Khan clarified his previous statement related to the new army chief’s appointment that he delivered during an interview with a private news channel yesterday.

While talking to journalists today, Khan said, “I have always talked about merit. I had said that the army chief’s appointment should be made on merit but Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari are not eligible to approve the important appointment.”

Imran Khan, COAS appointment, COAS Bajwa extension, army chief

“During the private channel’s interview, I had not talked about the extension [of COAS Bajwa’s tenure]. I have just asked [the government] to defer the important appointment until fresh elections.”

“I am waiting for the arrival of Nawaz Sharif [Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Quaid] in Pakistan. Nawaz Sharif would remember the welcome when he will arrive in Pakistan.”

Imran Khan confirmed that he will make an announcement regarding the date of the PTI protest this month. “The nation is with me, people will hit the roads whenever I give them a call.”

Imran Khan, COAS appointment, COAS Bajwa extension, army chief

“The selection of judges is also an important matter. Judiciary should also devise a powerful system [for judges selection]. We want to see a strong and independent judiciary. At this time, Pakistan has a relatively independent judiciary. The country cannot make progress without an independent judiciary.”

The PTI chairman criticised that 20 FIRs including terrorism case were lodged against him when he demanded legal action. “People cannot find such examples from [military dictator] Zia-ul-Haq’s era. Pervez Musharraf’s era was a relatively liberal one as compared with today.”

Khan said that a few persons were damaging the whole country just for their personal gains. He hinted at revealing the names of the persons.

He said that PTI core committee members have been given instructions not to stay quiet anymore. Khan said that they will not step back from their stance at any cost.

Regarding the rumoured political adventure by PTI rivals in Punjab, Imran Khan said that an attempt to change the Punjab government will be a conspiracy to start chaos.

He said that fresh elections were the only solution to end political instability in Pakistan and that PTI will not accept any delay. He added that he was not in favour of delaying the fresh elections till March.

Answering a question, Khan rejected the option of an extension to the parliament’s tenure. He slammed that the coalition government was running away from fresh polls, whereas, the chief election commissioner (CEC) was working for PML-N.

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