ISLAMBAD - The opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday blamed the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) for allegedly issuing controversial statements against state institutions including the Pakistan Army and said that former prime minister Imran Khan was being wrongly blamed on similar charges.

Addressing a press conference here along with party leader Hammad Azhar, former information minister and PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that a campaign was under way to create divisions within rank and file and senior leadership of Pakistan Army. “This is highly worrisome,” he said, adding that the military spokesman in a statement has rightly said that the Army should not be dragged into politics. His remarks came hours before Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during his speech in the National Assembly lashed out at Chairman PTI Imran Khan for latter’s comments regarding state institutions at public rallies and said that action should be taken against him within the ambit of the law and the Constitution. PTI leader Chaudhry also blamed the journalists for being part of a “smear” campaign and said that their connections with some quarters were no longer a secret. A journalist talked about reshuffle within the Army and about transfer of a certain corps commander. “Such talks are objectionable,” he said, adding that a certain segment of the society was being given free hand to play with the state institutions. Former information minister said that PM Shehbaz Sharif has given two statements recently, first saying that a case should be registered against Khan for his provocative speeches against the state institutions and in another one saying that remarks of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz given at a public rally should not be taken seriously.

Says Maryam should apologise to Pak Army | Imran did not name anyone in his speeches

PTI will hold long march towards Islamabad between May 21 to 29

He said that the remarks of the premier have come at a time when Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of Armed Forces, had to issue a statement after remarks of Maryam about the Army.  There would be a reaction countrywide if the premier would make such statements against Iman Khan and this reaction would be felt everywhere, he added. He claimed that former prime minister Khan never named any institution in his speeches and there were few examples in history how PTI and the party chairman have shown responsibility and tried to save the institutions. He said that Khan never blamed the Pakistan Army. Chaudhry said that Khan has clear instructions that weakening the Pakistan Army means to weaken the country. He said that efforts were being made to create divisions within the country to cause damage to it. The PTI leader demanded that either Maryam Nawaz or PML-N should apologise for her remarks about the Army given at a rally in Fateh Jang area of district Attock. He said that the statement of the premier was not enough that her remarks should not be taken seriously. He also said that his party will hold a long march towards Islamabad between May 21 to 29 and its preparations have entered the final stage. The date for the long march would be announced by May 20, he added. He also said that the government should announce fresh elections before the march and this is the only step to normalise politics of Pakistan.

 

Last week, Maryam while speaking at a rally had claimed that Khan was being propped up by a single army officer and his govt collapsed with a bang soon with the officer’s appointment away from the power corridors.