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Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan army chief General Syed Asim Munir (File Image)
Former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan army chief General Syed Asim Munir (File Image)

Imran Khan directs PTI leaders to refrain from criticizing Pak's new army chief Asim Munir

ANI | Updated: Dec 02, 2022 21:16 IST


Islamabad [Pakistan], December 2 (ANI): Former Prime Minister of Pakistan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Friday directed his party leaders to "please ensure there is no criticism of the new Chief and Army Staff."
Khan directed his party leaders and social media team to ensure that there is no criticism of the army and new COAS General Asim Munir, reported The News International.
This direction of Imran Khan is a clear sign of the party's effort to rebuild troubled relationships with the military establishment.
Ever since his ouster from the PM's Office, Imran Khan severely attacked the military establishment and held it responsible for the removal of his government.
He also attacked the neutrality of the institution and repeatedly urged the military establishment under former Army Chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa to remove the present government and pave the way for general elections.
During all these months, the social media of the PTI ran innumerable campaigns targeting the military establishment, the army's top command. Abusive language has also been used in these campaigns. Some PTI leaders also used indecent language against the military establishment and its key players, reported The News International.
The party source said that following the appointment of General Asim Munir as Army Chief, Imran Khan also does not want any reflection of what had happened between him and General Asim Munir during his prime ministership, reported The News International.
Earlier in a message to the newly appointed military leaders, including army chief Asim Munir, Imran Khan on Wednesday expressed hope that they will work to end the prevailing trust deficit between the nation and the State.
"Congratulations to Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza as the new CJCSC and Gen Syed Asim Munir as the new COAS. We hope new military leadership will work to end the prevailing trust deficit that has built up in the last 8 months between the nation and the State. Strength of the State is derived from its people," Khan said in his congratulatory tweet for the newly appointed military leadership.

In the same tweet, Imran Khan shared Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah's quote, "Do not forget that the armed forces are the servants of the people and you do not make national policy; it is we, the civilians, who decide these issues and it is your duty to carry out these tasks with which you are entrusted." (Quaid-i-Azam to Armed Forces; Aug 14, 1947).
Following the appointment of the new Army Chief, Imran Khan and the PTI made a major policy shift from what the former prime minister and his party leaders as well as social media team have been propagating for the last eight months, reported The News International.
Notably, during his premiership, Imran Khan had prematurely removed Asim Munir as DG ISI when the latter reportedly informed the prime minister about the alleged corrupt practices of some people close to Khan.
However, when Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved Asim Munir as Army Chief, President Dr Arif Alvi flew to Lahore to consult Imran Khan, who also agreed to the top military appointments made by the present government.
Previously, Khan was insisting that the present government has no right to appoint a new army chief. He was of the view that Gen Bajwa could be given an extension to enable the new government following the next general elections to appoint the COAS, reported The News International.
Munir, who was to retire on November 27, two days before Bajwa completed an extended tenure of almost six years, was among six generals in the race for the top post -- a cause for much uncertainty and speculation till this week.
There was an unprecedented hysteria and frenzy in Pakistan by former Prime Minister, his followers and his social media brigade after the PTI government was thrown out of the power corridors of Islamabad in April. The Shehbaz Sharif government has accused Khan of making the appointment of the new army chief controversial for political gains.
For the last month, Pakistan was literally paralyzed administratively and economically because of the delay in the appointment of the army chief who is considered the most powerful personality with all political stakeholders dying for his blessings.
Notably, Pakistan's military has directly ruled the country of 220 million people for nearly half of its 75-year history. (ANI)

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