Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday lashed out at three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif, describing him as a “jackal” who is trying to create “rebellion” in the Army by accusing it of involvement in the country’s politics and calling for a change in the military as well as the ISI leadership.
Sharif, the 70-year-old supreme leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) who was ousted from power in 2017 by the apex court on graft charges, had last month for the first time directly named Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for interfering in the general elections of 2018 to ensure the victory of Khan.
Sharif had made the comments virtually on October 16 during a joint rally organized by the Opposition parties under the banner of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), formed to oust the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf: government. Prime Minister Khan said that Sharif is sitting in London “like a Jackal” and targeting the Army.
Hitting out at Sharif, Khan said the former prime minister was trying to stir up a rebellion in the Pakistan Army by alleging it is involved in politics and calling for changing the Army and ISI chiefs,” Khan said while addressing a public gathering in Mingora in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province. The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
However, the Army has denied meddling in the country’s politics. Prime Minister Khan also denies that the Army helped him win the election in 2018. Khan said that Sharif had run away from the country under the pretext of illness, adding that he was a money worshipper and had amassed his wealth by looting the country, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The PML-N chief, currently out on bail, is facing multiple corruption charges. The Islamabad High Court had allowed him to go to London for medical treatment in November last year for a period of eight weeks for medical treatment. But he did not come back, while his lawyers told the court that he was still recovering. Khan also slammed Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz for openly accusing the Army of interfering in politics.
She is taking advantage of being a woman because women are given respect in Pakistan, he said. Nawaz Sharif and his sons cannot dare attack the Pakistan Army in the country and this is why they have fled abroad. Since Maryam Nawaz knows that we will not send her behind bars because she is a woman, she has started spewing venom against the Army, he said.
Khan said Pakistanis would never allow corrupt politicians to hurl allegations against the Army. Rebuking the corrupt political leaders who have gathered under the Pakistan Democratic Movement, Khan said a group of thieves and looters have gathered who were asking for special concessions after looting the country.
Two major political parties looted the country during the past 30 years but now it is a decisive time to take action against the corrupt and looters, he claimed.