KARAK - PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said he did not want an army chief of his choice but only concerned with merit-based appointment of the COAS.
Addressing a public gathering at Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former premier responded to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s comment that Khan wanted to “appoint an army chief of his choice.” “Imran Khan has proved time and again to be an unguided missile for the country, its economy, politics and social cohesion,” Bilawal said, urging the PTI chairman to desist from questioning the patriotism of the defence institution and its commanders. Replying to Bilawal, Khan said: “They say Imran Khan wanted to appoint the army chief of his choice, but let me make it clear that I do not want an army chief [of my choice]. All I care about is merit-based appointment.”
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Criticising the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leadership, Khan said that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz was “incapable of telling the truth” as he once again accused her of keeping nepotism above national interests. “Maryam wants to import power plant ma chinery from India for her son-in-law,” he said while referring to a controversy which arose a day earlier about leaked audio that has gone viral on social media. The audio allegedly featured Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif holding a discussion with an unidentified person and asking them about a power plant from India to be imported for Maryam’s son-in-law. “Our government had stopped trade with India because it broke international law and ended the special status of Kashmir,” Khan said, adding that PDM leaders came to power to enjoy “personal benefits.”
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“But, this government is trying to restore ties with India, they are ready to neglect struggle of Kashmiri people for their gains,” he added. Imran said that Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif’s audio leak proved that they could ignore Kashmiri’s struggle and illegally import machinery from India for their gains. “The only reason for them to come to power is to continue with their corrupt practices. Whenever these people came to power, the debts of the country increased,” he alleged. Khan, while further censuring PML-N’s leadership, said Nawaz Sharif’s sons live in houses worth billions of rupees that too in the most expensive area of London. “Even the prime minister of Great Britain cannot live in a house where Hassan Nawaz lives because it costs Rs10 billion,” he said. “And when questioned about where he acquired so much wealth from, Hassan said he was not answerable because he was not a Pakistani citizen”. Talking about PML-N leader Ishaq Dar — who will be assuming the post of finance minister upon his return to Pakistan next week — Imran said that since his sons also live abroad, he is coming to power to mint money.
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The former premier, shedding light on the economic situation of the country, said for the last 40 years, Pakistan had been “surviving on foreign aid”. “India and Bangladesh both are ahead of Pakistan [in terms of development]”. The PTI Chief said that America carried out 400 drone attacks in Pakistan and killed innocent people. But the rulers did not utter a word against them because their properties were in foreign countries, he added. Imran said that he would soon give a call to his supporters to steer the country out of the quagmire. Imran reiterated that the country would be stuck in a quagmire if the “imported government’s” tenure was prolonged further. He said that both PPP and PML-N had given themselves an NRO and closed down corruption cases worth Rs1,100 billion. Imran said that the audio leak proved that their only purpose was to hoard money and nothing else. Sixty percent of the cabinet was facing corruption charges. “They have derailed the process of accountability by amending the NAB laws,” he added. He said that Rana Sanaullah used massive teargas shells against PTI women and children on May 25 as they were not fully prepared. He added that minister will not find a place to hide this time around.
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He added that it was a disgrace to people that Prime Minister was going around the world begging for aid. No country can progress by begging for loans and not expanding its production and exports, he added.