Former Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) prime minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas has come down hard on his party chief Imran Khan for “attacking” the institutions and creating a “gulf” between the military and the people.
“For a year, Imran Khan and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders have been creating fears in people’s minds against institutions,” Ilyas said in a video statement.
The hard-hitting response from the PTI leader — who has recently been disqualified from the top AJK office over contempt charges — came after the military assailed the former PM for “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against a serving senior military officer.
The PTI chief has claimed that the senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the assassination attempt on him on November 3, 2022; however, he has provided no evidence to authorities so far. Moreover, all the people accused have rejected the allegations.
“These fabricated and malicious allegations are extremely unfortunate, deplorable and unacceptable,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said.
In his statement, Ilyas said efforts were being made to create a gulf between the people and the armed forces.
“The nation believes in the armed forces and it is a relationship of trust,” he said, adding that the armed forces make sacrifices for the country and the nation.
Ilyas said that the military is the guarantor of the country’s security, and the nation is proud of it.
He further slammed Khan for “cutting the roots of Pakistan,” saying it is time that such acts and factors are not only suppressed but also strongly condemned.
“All patriotic people must come forward to stop the factors that weaken Pakistan,” the former AJK prime minister urged.
Before the army’s statement, PM Shehbaz had condemned the PTI chief’s tirade against the senior military officer. At this, Khan slammed the premier, asking whether “[military] officers were above the law?”
“As someone who has suffered 2 assassination attempts on his life in [the] last few months, can I dare to ask SS the following Qs: Have I, a citizen, the right to nominate those I feel were responsible for assassination attacks on me? Why was I denied my legal & Constitutional right to register an FIR?”
“Does SS tweet mean mly officers are above the law or that they cannot commit a crime?” he wondered.
The PTI chief further asked that if a person is being blamed for a crime, how can it be perceived that an entire institution is being maligned?
“Who was so powerful as to sabotage Wazirabad JIT while [the] PTI govt was in power in Punjab?”
Khan — without naming anyone — said that when PM Shehbaz can truthfully answer all his questions, it would point to point to one powerful man and his accomplices “all being above the law”.
“Then it is time for us to officially declare that in Pakistan there is only law of the jungle where Might is Right.”