Powered by

Imran Khan again targets Pak Army, accuses it of weakening independent institutions

Khan has been at loggerheads with the Army for a few months since his ouster

PAKISTAN-POLITICS/KHAN Former Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan sits in a wheelchair after he was wounded following a shooting incident on a long march in Wazirabad, at the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in Lahore, Pakistan November 4, 2022 | Reuters

Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has once again targeted the Army and accused it of weakening independent institutions in the past and acting together with political dynasties as if they're above the law.

 The 70-year-old former cricketer-turned-politician, who is recovering from injuries sustained during an assassination bid, has been at the loggerheads with the Army for a few months after his ouster as the prime minister in April.

Khan alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of a sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by a religious extremist.

In an interview with the Financial Times, he said: The army can play a constructive role in my future plans for Pakistan.

But it has to be that balance. You cannot have an elected government which has the responsibility given by the people, while the authority lies somewhere else," he told the British newspaper.

Khan accused the military of having previously weakened independent institutions and, together with political dynasties like the Sharif family, having acted as if they're above the law.

When Khan was in power, the Opposition accused him of trying to bring an Army chief of his choice who could support his alleged agenda of victimising opposition leaders.

Since he lost power in April this year, the equation has changed and now Khan is saying that the coalition government wants to install an Army head of its choice to protect looted wealth and steal general elections. 

The powerful Army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.  

Some analysts call his criticisms of the military a cynical attempt to pressure them into supporting him and try to influence the upcoming selection of a new Army chief. 

During the interview, Khan denied this and said he wants the new Army chief to be selected on merit. 

📣 The Week is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@TheWeekmagazine) and stay updated with the latest headlines