KARAK    -   PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said he did not want an army chief of his choice but only concerned with merit-based appoint­ment of the COAS.

Addressing a public gathering at Karak in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the former premier re­sponded to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhu­tto-Zardari’s comment that Khan wanted to “appoint an army chief of his choice.” “Imran Khan has proved time and again to be an un­guided missile for the country, its economy, politics and social cohe­sion,” Bilawal said, urg­ing the PTI chairman to desist from questioning the patriotism of the defence institution and its commanders.

Replying to Bilawal, Khan said: “They say Imran Khan wanted to appoint the army chief of his choice, but let me make it clear that I do not want an army chief [of my choice]. All I care about is merit-based appointment.”

Criticising the Paki­stan Democratic Move­ment (PDM) leader­ship, Khan said that PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz was “incapable of telling the truth” as he once again accused her of keep­ing nepotism above na­tional interests. 

“Maryam wants to im­port power plant ma­ chinery from India for her son-in-law,” he said while referring to a controversy which arose a day earlier about leaked au­dio that has gone viral on social media.

The audio allegedly featured Prime Minister Shehbaz Shar­if holding a discussion with an unidentified person and ask­ing them about a power plant from India to be imported for Maryam’s son-in-law.

“Our government had stopped trade with India because it broke international law and ended the special status of Kashmir,” Khan said, adding that PDM leaders came to pow­er to enjoy “personal benefits.” 

“But, this government is try­ing to restore ties with India, they are ready to neglect strug­gle of Kashmiri people for their gains,” he added.

Imran said that Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif’s au­dio leak proved that they could ignore Kashmiri’s struggle and illegally import machinery from India for their gains. 

“The only reason for them to come to power is to contin­ue with their corrupt practices. Whenever these people came to power, the debts of the country increased,” he alleged.

Khan, while further censuring PML-N’s leadership, said Nawaz Sharif’s sons live in houses worth billions of rupees that too in the most expensive area of London.

“Even the prime minister of Great Britain cannot live in a house where Hassan Nawaz lives because it costs Rs10 bil­lion,” he said. “And when ques­tioned about where he acquired so much wealth from, Has­san said he was not answer­able because he was not a Pa­kistani citizen”. Talking about PML-N leader Ishaq Dar — who will be assuming the post of fi­nance minister upon his return to Pakistan next week — Imran said that since his sons also live abroad, he is coming to power to mint money.

The former premier, shed­ding light on the economic situ­ation of the country, said for the last 40 years, Pakistan had been “surviving on foreign aid”.

“India and Bangladesh both are ahead of Pakistan [in terms of development]”.

The PTI Chief said that Ameri­ca carried out 400 drone attacks in Pakistan and killed innocent people. But the rulers did not utter a word against them be­cause their properties were in foreign countries, he added.

Imran said that he would soon give a call to his supporters to steer the country out of the quagmire.

Imran reiterated that the country would be stuck in a quagmire if the “imported gov­ernment’s” tenure was pro­longed further. He said that both PPP and PML-N had given them­selves an NRO and closed down corruption cases worth Rs1,100 billion. Imran said that the au­dio leak proved that their only purpose was to hoard money and nothing else. Sixty percent of the cabinet was facing cor­ruption charges. “They have de­railed the process of account­ability by amending the NAB laws,” he added. He said that Rana Sanaullah used massive teargas shells against PTI wom­en and children on May 25 as they were not fully prepared. He added that minister will not find a place to hide this time around.

He added that it was a dis­grace to people that Prime Min­ister was going around the world begging for aid. No coun­try can progress by begging for loans and not expanding its pro­duction and exports, he added.