Pakistan Army stands behind a democratic government: PM Imran Khan

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Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the Pakistan Army is an institution that backs a democratic government and Nawaz Sharif “was never a democratic leader”.

“Opposition parties have never liked to engage in democratic politics,” the premier said, during an interview on a private television news channel.

Speaking about the current dynamic between the Pakistan Army and the PTI-led government, the prime minister said that there is great harmony between the two and it is there “for the first time in history”.

Contrasting this with past regimes, he said that had the army chief “attacked Kargil without asking me I would have dismissed him”.

PM Imran Khan said that Nawaz Sharif, on the other hand, had sour relations with all army chiefs over his various stints as premier. “He sought control over all institutions.”

“Now Nawaz is sitting abroad and has launched a campaign against the army,” said the prime minister, terming him “the second founder of MQM”.

“The army is a government institution,” said PM Imran Khan, adding: “I will use whatever institution needed to run the government.”

The prime minister, speaking further on the army’s crucial role, said that had it not been for the army, “Pakistan would have been broken into three parts as India seeks to achieve”.

He said that he had not been “raised in the army’s nurseries like Nawaz Sharif or Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto”.

PM Imran Khan underscored that he is a democratically elected leader and “no one would dare ask him for a resignation”.

Coming back to Nawaz Sharif, he said that the PML-N supremo had exited the country based on lies.

“They know I will never grant them [amnesty under] NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) which is why they keep repeating the same chants of ‘minus one’,” he added, referring to the opposition’s demand for his resignation.

PM Imran said that the opposition is pressurising the National Accountability Bureau, the army and the judiciary and referred to them  as “a band of thieves having joined hands to hide their crimes”.

“Falling under pressure from such thieves and then securing a deal is what leads to the destruction of a country,” said the premier.

“They left the country crippled under the burden of an enormous debt and they have the gall to demand answers from us,” he added, in reaction to the speeches by Nawaz Sharif and major opposition leaders posing questions to the incumbent government over its so-called “failures”.

He said that the opposition had “left no stone unturned to look for ways to add to their wealth”.

PM Imran said that if the opposition resigns from the assemblies, he is willing to hold elections.

The premier said that Pakistan is in touch with Britain to secure Nawaz Sharif’s return to the country.

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