Pakistan

Taken a backseat on matter of army chief's appointment, says Imran


Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that the party has taken a step back on the issue of the army chief's appointment.

The former premier made the comments while in conversation with senior journalists at his residence in Lahore.

The PTI chief also said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif wants an army chief of his choice to be appointed, "who will take care of his cases".

The former prime minister added that no army chief will ever go against the institution, state or the people.

Read 'Enough is enough': Imran to 'sue' local news channel, anchor

Regarding the allegations in the Toshakhana case – after a Dubai-based businessperson claimed in an interview to a private TV channel that he had bought some of the state's gifts from Farah Gogi and Shahzad Akbar, the deposed prime minister said that he will file a case against the relevant persons in Dubai, London and Pakistan.

Imran also said that the gifts sold in the Toshakhana case were sold in Islamabad, adding that receipts and dates were in the government’s treasury and that the case will be over once evidence is presented.

Talking about relations with the United States, the PTI chairman said that he does not want a fight with the US and wants positive and better relations.

Imran reiterated that his statement on the “foreign conspiracy narrative” was misrepresented.

During the talk, the deposed premier maintained that a country that does not have rule of law will never progress, adding that only implementation of rule of law could make a nation 'free'.

Speaking about talks with the government, the PTI chief said that the party was being approached for negotiations, but "we have asked them to announce the date of elections".

Read more 'No foul play': PTI denies businessman's claims about receiving Toshakhana gifts

A day earlier, Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif said that consultations on the army chief's appointment will begin after November 18 or 19 and clarified that the PML-N had no 'favourite' for the position.

The defence minister’s statement comes a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif returned home after his extended stay in London where he was believed to have held closed-door consultations with the elder Sharif and other leaders on the appointment of the next COAS.

The debate over the appointment of the new chief has intensified since the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the military, confirmed last week that Gen Bajwa would doff his uniform on November 29 at the completion of his six-year tenure.


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