Army 'aghast' at Imran's defamatory statement about military leadership

Army 'aghast' at Imran's defamatory statement about military leadership

Rawalpindi (Web Desk): Pakistan Army on Monday expressed displeasure over Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan's recent statement in Faisalabad's public rally about military's senior leadership.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan Army is aghast at the defamatory and uncalled for statement about the senior leadership of Pakistan Army by the PTI chairman during a political rally at Faisalabad.

"Regrettably, an attempt has been made to discredit and undermine senior leadership of Pakistan Army at a time when the institution is laying lives for the security and safety of the people of Pakistan every day,". the military's media wing said.

The ISPR said that the senior politicians trying to stir controversies on appointment of COAS of Pakistan Army, the procedure for which is well defined in the constitution, is most unfortunate and disappointing.

The statement added that Senior leadership of Army has decades long impeccable meritorious service to prove its patriotic and professional credentials beyond any doubt.

The military's media wing said that Politicising the senior leadership of Pakistan Army and scandalizing the process of selection of COAS is neither in the interest of the state of Pakistan nor of the institution.

"Pakistan Army reiterates its commitment to uphold the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan," the ISPR said.

On Sunday, PTI chief Imran Khan in a public rally in Faisalabad, called out the government, saying that it was delaying the elections to appoint an army chief of its own and that if a "patriotic chief of army staff comes in, he will not spare the incumbent rulers."

The PTI chief asked the ruling coalition why they were “afraid of fresh elections”? He added that it was because they knew that they would be eliminated in transparent elections.

Earlier today, political parties in the coalition government strongly condemned PTI Chairman Imran Khan for spreading hatred against the military and its leadership and making sensitive professional matters controversial.

In a joint statement, the ruling coalition condemned Khan's public meeting for spreading hatred against the Pakistan Army and its leadership and making "sensitive professional matters" controversial.

The entire nation is battling floods, while the PTI chairman is consumed by a thirst for revenge and his pride, the statement said, noting that despite the cataclysmic floods, Khan is targetting the armed forces.

The ruling partners said that the serious allegations being levelled against the military are for three reasons: to disturb the country's economy, to move Pakistan's economy to a path that it becomes like that of Sri Lanka, and foster enmity between the nation and the armed forces.

"With the power of the Constitution and law, we will thwart this nefarious conspiracy and deal with the conspirators in line with the constitution and law," the statement said.

Meanwhile, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Monday asked whether PTI Chairman Imran Khan wanted to hurt the morale of the armed forces by delivering anti-military speeches.

While hearing a plea against the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) order prohibiting television channels from airing PTI chairman’s speeches live, Justice Minallah remarked that the armed forces lay their lives for the nation and in a case where someone is involved in illegal activity, everyone should not be criticised over it.

Do you think that anyone in the army is not a patriot?” the IHC CJ questioned Barrister Ali Zafar who was representing Imran Khan during the hearing.

A representative of PEMRA was also present to apprise the court of the regulator’s stance.

After hearing the arguments of both sides, the court wrapped up the case.

On August 21, the PEMRA imposed a ban on airing Khan’s speeches live after the PTI chairman threatened state institutions and government officials with serious consequences.

According to the media watchdog’s notification, Imran Khan’s addresses are in open violation of the regulator’s rules and Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan.

At the last hearing, the IHC CJ had suspended the order till September 5 and observed that the regulatory authority “does not have the authority” to issue such orders.