Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday hinted at potentially spoiling the smooth appointment of the next chief of army staff.
In an interview given to a private television channel, ARY News on Wednesday evening, Imran was asked whether he was in touch with President Arif Alvi – who ultimately appoints the new army chief on the advice of the prime minister.
“Definitely, I am in touch with President Arif Alvi; he will talk to me about everything,” Imran said, adding that since he is the head of the party to whom Alvi belongs, the two would discuss the matter.
“He will definitely consult me. I am the head of the party.”
Asked if they had any plans to throw a spanner in the works, Imran responded suggestively.
“We have decided, the President and I, that whatever we do, we will do it whilst remaining within the ambit of the law,” he said, adding, “We will play within the ambit of the law.”
Imran reiterated his refrain that any pick from amongst the six names sent to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif – who is constitutionally empowered to make the pick – would essentially be a pick made by deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Shehbaz had earlier this month spent several days in London consulting with his elder brother, party supremo and former prime minister Nawaz over a host of critical matters about the country. Sources had suggested that the army chief’s appointment was among the topics of discussion between the two.
“Whoever Nawaz Sharif chooses and brings as the army chief will be controversial from day-one,” Imran asserted.
“If they think that Nawaz Sharif will appoint his army chief and use the establishment to suppress us, the country will stand up against it,” he warned.