29 November 2022
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other ruling coalition leaders on Monday condemned Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s ‘poisonous’ allegations that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari want to appoint the army chief of their choice.

Their comments come a day after former premier Imran fired a broadside at his political rivals, alleging that Nawaz and Zardari wanted to appoint an army chief of their choice because a “strong and patriotic army chief” would question their “loot”.

Responding to Imran’s statement, PM Shehbaz maintained that the PTI chief’s “despicable utterances to malign institutions” were touching new heights “every day”.

Imran Niazi’s despicable utterances to malign institutions are touching new levels every day. He is now indulging in direct mud-slinging & poisonous allegations against Armed Forces & its leadership. His nefarious agenda is clearly to disrupt & undermine Pakistan.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) September 5, 2022

He claimed that the former premier was “indulging in direct mud-slinging and poisonous allegations against Armed Forces and its leadership”.

“His nefarious agenda is clearly to disrupt and undermine Pakistan,” PM Shehbaz said in a tweet.

Read IHC irked by Imran’s remarks on army chief selection

In a statement on Twitter, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chair Asif Ali Zardari said that the nation could now see who the real “insurgent” was.

کراچی: پاکستان پیپلزپارٹی پارلیمنٹرینز کے صدر آصف علی زرداری کا بیان

ساری قوم کو نظر آرہا ہے کہ اس قوم کا فتنہ کون ہے، آصف علی زرداری، سابق صدر مملکت

آج سب کو انسان اور حیوان کا پتہ چل گیا ہے، صدر زرداری@AAliZardari
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) September 5, 2022

Without naming the ousted premier, Zardari stated that Imran was attempting to weaken the country which “could not happen” in the PPP leader’s lifetime and that he will not allow state institutions to become a topic of controversy because of one man.

“From our soldiers to generals, everyone is brave and loves this country,” Zardari said.

اس شخص نے اس ملک کو کمزور کرنے کا کہیں سے ٹھیکہ لیا ہوا ہے جو ہمارے جیتے جی نہیں ہوسکتا، صدر زرداری

ہم اپنے اداروں اور جرنیلوں کو اس شخص کی ہوس کی خاطر متنازع نہیں بننے دیں گے، صدر زرداری

ہمارے ہر سپاہی سے لیکر جرنیل تک ہر ایک بہادر اور محبت وطن ہے، صدر زرداری
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) September 5, 2022

He further stated that the nation currently stood with and was trying to help flood victims while Imran held rallies.

Read More Don’t push me to the wall, warns Imran

He maintained that only the federal government could be seen making an effort in flood relief activities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Punjab – where Imran Khan and his allies held provincial governments.

پوری قوم اس وقت سیلاب زدگان کے ساتھ کھڑی ہے اور ہر ممکن ان کی مدد کرنے کی کوشش کررہی ہے اور یہ شخص جلسہ جلسہ کھیل رہا ہے، صدر زرداری

خیبرپختونخوا اور پنجاب میں بھی صرف وفاقی حکومت نظر آرہی ہے، صدر زرداری
— PPP (@MediaCellPPP) September 5, 2022

Moreover, Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal said that as the country grappled “with the worst climate disaster, Imran Niazi continues to pollute the political space and push the country towards extreme polarisation”.

He claimed that the PTI chief was “putting blots on all state institutions”, including the appointment of a new chief of army staff.

While the country grapples with the worst climate disaster, Imran Niazi continues to pollute the political space and push the country towards extreme polarisation and putting blots on all state institution incl appointment of new COAS? What is his end game? More anarchy & chaos?
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) September 5, 2022

The minister questioned if Imran’s “end game” was “more anarchy and chaos”.

Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman also criticised the ex-PM and said that the PTI leaders “were constantly blaming the security agencies.”

آئین کی خلاف ورزی کرنے والے اور ملک کے مفادات کے خلاف سازشیں کرنے والے اب بھٹو اور زرداری خاندان کو غدار کہہ رہے۔ اب یہ “لاڈلہ” پیپلز پارٹی اور ن لیگ پر اپنا فیوریٹ آرمی چیف لگا کر رعایتیں لینے کا الزام لگا رہا۔ پی ٹی آئی رہنما سکیورٹی اداروں پر مسلسل الزام تراشی کر رہے۔ 1/3
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) September 5, 2022

In a series of tweets, she furthered that Imran is “spreading hatred and chaos against the security agencies”.

Talking about the recent floods that have rendered 33 million people homeless, the minister questioned if Imran’s “ego and politics [are] bigger than peoples’ lives?”

اب کس منہ سے مخالفین پر کرپشن میں رعایتیں لینے الزام لاگا رہے؟ 3 کروڑ 30 لاکھ سے زائد لوگ سیلاب سے متاثر جبکہ لاکھوں بےگھر ہو چکے ہیں۔ کئی شہر اور دیہات ڈوب چکے ہیں لیکن ایک شخص ابھی بھی انتخابات کا مطالبہ کر رہا ہے۔ کیا اس شخص کی انا اور سیاست لوگوں کی زندگیوں سے بھی بڑی ہے؟3/3
— SenatorSherryRehman (@sherryrehman) September 5, 2022

On Sunday, while addressing a public rally at the Iqbal Stadium in Faisalabad, the PTI chairman had asked the ruling coalition “why are they afraid of fresh elections?” He added that it was because they knew that they would be eliminated in transparent elections.

“The second reason is that the new army chief is coming in November. Zardari and Nawaz want to bring their favourite as the next army chief because they have stolen public money,” he said. “They are afraid that when patriotic army chief comes, he will ask them about their loot,” he added.

The new chief of army staff will be appointed in November this year, following General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement.

Abdul Gh Lone

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