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Critique of Sharifs, not army: Imran


On Monday, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chair Imran Khan said that he used Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq for the Sharif brothers and dismissed the allegation that he had criticized the Pakistan army in his address in Abbottabad.

The former prime minister also claimed that he was engaged in jihad rather than politics and advised party leaders to make sure that none of the PTI legislators, whose mass resignations were verified by the Speaker of the National Assembly, attended the NA session as the PTI’s only requirement was early polls.

During his meeting with party leaders, Mr. Khan said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif mistakenly accused him of “fomenting a great conspiracy against Pakistan”. In his address, the prime minister accused his predecessor of defaming national institutions, the constitution, and the state. He warned that legal action would be initiated, adding that what Mr. Khan had done could only be described as a “conspiracy” not against political rivals but the country.

On Sunday, military and civilian authorities noticed attempts to “drag the army” into the political quagmire, making “defamatory” remarks about the institution and its leaders and “spread chaos” across the country through political statements, comments, and trends on social media.

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The ISPR and the FIA issued separate statements, urging people to refrain from such practices. The army had made a “strong exception” to the “intensified and deliberate attempts” to insert its name in the country’s current speech by “certain political leaders, journalists, and analysts.

However, Mr. Khan said that Mr. Sharif seemed to have disrespected the army, whereas he had “employed the words Mir Jaffar and Mir Sadiq for the Sharif brothers”.

“Elder brother [Nawaz Sharif] is accustomed to speaking out against the army, and his daughter [Maryam Nawaz] is also attacking the army; on the other hand, Shehbaz Sharif says he stands up for the military. Today, India is more than happy because the people who met Narendra Modi without announcing meetings have come to power,’ said Imran Khan.

Referring to hooliganism during cabinet members’ visit to Masjid-i-Nabwi, Mr. Khan criticized “those who visited Saudi Arabia” They said they needed to go back because Pakistan required more of them. He said the government called in the lawmakers who resigned from the National Assembly (for verification) and asked the leaders of his party to make sure that nobody would attend the NA session because PTI only wants early elections.

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