Imran Khan 'Clueless' About Why PTI-Establishment Ties Went Downhill

Imran Khan 'Clueless' About Why PTI-Establishment Ties Went Downhill
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Saturday claimed ignorance of how his party's ties with the establishment had frayed.

Khan made the comments while speaking to journalists. He said the party shared warm ties with the establishment. How and when they had gone downhill, he had no knowledge of. The remarks were later broadcast by a private TV channel. Journalist Gharidah Farooqi too shared screengrabs of the PTI chairman's remarks.

Earlier, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the military was “aghast” at the “defamatory and uncalled for” statement pertaining to the force’s senior leadership delivered by the (PTI) chairman during a Faisalabad show of power in September.

The military media wing said an attempt had been made to “discredit and undermine” the senior leadership of the Army at a time when the institution was sacrificing their lives to secure the nation. “Senior politicians trying to stir controversies on appointment of COAS of Pakistan Army, the procedure for which is well defined in the constitution, is most unfortunate and disappointing,” the statement said.

The ISPR further said that the senior leadership of the army has a decades-long “impeccable meritorious service” to prove its patriotic and professional credentials beyond any doubt. The ISPR said politicising the senior leadership of Pakistan Army and “scandalising” the COAS selection process was neither in the interest of the State nor the institution. The military media wing concluded the statement by reiterating the force’s commitment  to upholding the Constitution.

Khan had accused the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government of stalling general elections to appoint an army chief of its choice. “The second reason is that the new army chief is set to be appointed in November. Zardari and Nawaz want a favourite as the next an army chief as they have plundered public coffers.” he said. “They are scared of a patriotic army chief as such an individual would hold them accountable,” the PTI chief had said.

Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry had cited strained party-establishment ties for the PTI-led government's ouster earlier in April. Khan has blamed his ouster on a foreign conspiracy. He has also accused the then opposition of being in cahoots with foreign countries.

Fraying PTI-establishment ties were first reported in 2021 with the military said to have been growing disillusioned with Khan's inability to deliver good governance. A later rift between COAS Qamar Javed Bajwa and then ISI chief Faiz Hameed grew to include Khan.