Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa president Pervez Khattak on Monday said his party had no favourites among military generals for appointment as the next Pakistan Army chief.
Addressing a news conference along with former National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Mr Khattak said there was a laid-down procedure for the filling of the top Pakistan Army post and the PTI neither favoured anyone for it nor had its current anti-government march on Islamabad anything to do with that appointment.
Without naming names, he said the PTI had clearly conveyed to ‘them’ that it didn’t have any objection about any candidate for the army chief’s slot.
“We have no objection to any nomination under the existing system. A military general can’t be someone’s candidate. Only a fool can claim so,” he said.
Party leader Khattak says no objection to any nomination for COAS post under ‘existing system’
Mr Khattak said the Pakistan Army was an institution and no one could interfere in its affairs.
He said all Pakistan Army generals were good enough to deliver their best.
The PTI leader said the PTI had conveyed a very clear message to all about the army chief’s appointment but it was being subjected to a false propaganda.
He denied his party’s backdoor talks with the government and claimed no such dialogue was happening.
“Our party chief Imran Khan has made it clear that only the country’s president can play a role for talks,” he said.
Also read: Who will be the next army chief?
Mr Khattak said his party’s KP chapter had made elaborate arrangements for activities and supporters to join the ongoing ‘long march’ on Islamabad.
He said the PTI workers from Peshawar, Malakand and Hazara divisions would gather in Taxila on Nov 4, while the residents of the province’s southern belt would make it to the outskirts of federal capital via the Hakla Motorway and they all would gather there.
The PTI leader said his party had never talked about guns and had also issued clear directions to its workers that there won’t be any gun violence, as they were fighting for Pakistan.
“We [PTI workers] are democratic people. No one can stop us from protesting for our own country,” he said.
Mr Khattak said it violated the basic principle of democracy to baton-charge and fire tear gas on the people, who exercised their right to assemble and protest.
He said the PTI’s Azadi March was peaceful and its participants won’t do anything illegal or extra-constitutional.
The PTI leader accused the interior minister of threatening marchers with violence.
“An interior minister should speak in a legal way. If we [marchers] act illegally and unconstitutionally, only then the government can take action,” he said.
Mr Khattak said neither the PTI nor the people accepted the ‘imported’ federal government.
He said the parties ruling the centre had destroyed the country and that instead of introducing reforms, they were legislating for the disposal of their corruption cases pending with the courts.
“Our [PM Imran Khan-led government’s] hands were tied for three and a half years,” he said.
On the occasion, Mr Qaiser said member parties of the federal government had planned street protests for Nov 4 as they wanted a clash with the PTI, which had announced the long march participants would be peaceful.
“I warn them [PDM parties] that they will be responsible for any loss of life due to their protest. I condemn the PDM’s protest call,” he said.