PM Clarifies that He is Not Under Pressure from Military

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, has clarified that he is not, nor has he ever been, under any pressure by the military leadership of the country, to make decisions related to foreign policy. 

On Saturday night, the premier was responding to questions and said that rulers in the past have accused the army of interfering with the foreign policy decisions of the country. 

He stated that he has always advocated that appointing the military to solve the Afghan conflict is never the answer. He went on to add that his policy has still not changed. 

Time and time again, the opposition has leveled allegations at the Prime Minister, saying that he was brought into office by the security establishment. However, he refuted such claims and said that the military has never pressured him into making certain decisions nor have they ever opposed whatever he decided. 

Furthermore, the premier discussed the appointment of retired military officers on the position of the civilians. He explained that Asim Saleem Bajwa, Lt-Gen (retd) was his personal choice based on his experience. The retired army officer had dealt with Chinese officials in the past and served as a commander of the Southern command. 

He went on to add that Bajwa had been inducted into the information ministry team solely because of his expertise and outstanding performance, back when he headed the media wing of the military. It is called the ISPR. 

Talking more about the rhetoric presented by the opposition parties, Khan stated that he had not been ‘selected’ to rule the country. He said that he had come into office after politically struggling for 22 years. However, he did claim that Nawaz Sharif had been installed into politics by the military. 

Additionally, the leader observed that Asif Ali Zardari had had no history of political struggles. Bilawal Bhutto, his son, had also been made party chairman due to the ‘controversial’ will of Benazir Bhutto, his mother. 

Rejecting any and all claims of rigging of the 2018 elections, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), stated that that they were more transparent and much fairer than those held in 2013. 

The Prime Minister was also questioned about the anti-corruption drive of his party. He dispelled notions of lopsided accountability and revealed that all the corruption cases registered against the opposition had been filed long before PTI came into power. 

According to Khan, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) along with all other institutions of Pakistan, should conduct its work without any political pressure and interference. He maintained that he or his party had nothing to do with opposition leaders being arrested due to graft charges. 

The premier informed that the opposition parties have been trying to pressure his government into providing them with concessions on corruption cases. He said that they had gone so far as to blackmail his government on FATF bills. The opposition had further demanded that the PTI government relax NAB laws, if they wanted support for legislative bills.