Sun, 16 Jan 2022

Punjab [Pakistan], January 10 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Secretary-General Ahsan Iqbal on Sunday slammed Imran Khan government for talking about the army chief's extension before time.

Iqbal on Sunday lambasted Khan for "talking about the extension of the army chief's tenure before the right time" and called it another "political tactic," Geo News reported.

Speaking to journalists in Narowal, Iqbal said that "a new military chief is appointed during the last three months of the incumbent's tenure, therefore, talking about the extension before time is just a political tactic."He further said that the government is "trying to play a dangerous political card on the matter of the army chief's appointment" adding that it is a "condemnable act", reported Geo News.

Iqbal's comment came in response to Prime Minister Imran Khan's statement -- issued on January 6 -- when he said during an interview that his relationship with the military was "exemplary," and mentioned that he hasn't yet thought about the further extension of the Army chief's tenure as it will be decided in November 2022.

Meanwhile, the defeat of Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party in local elections of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa shows a clear sign of a crack between the military establishment and the ruling party.

Khan's ascendancy to the Islamabad throne was made possible by the army, especially Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI and is often referred to as the hybrid regime showed signs of crumbling after the resounding defeat of PTI, reported The Singapore Post.

Imran Khan had shown the military down by deliberately delaying the announcement of the appointment of ISI chief. The Army chief wanted a change in who heads the ISI early this year. The army declared Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum as the new ISI chief whereas Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who had helped Imran Khan to win the electoral battles on behalf of the army, was moved out as Peshawar corps commander.

Imran Khan sat on the Army chief's recommendation till rumours and conspiracy theories became thick enough to be cut with a blunt knife. Khan mulled all the options--to reject the army chief's recommendations or to accept them. He chose the third option--delay the official declaration. It showed he was no longer in the same books as General Javed Bajwa. The army took the insult and kept quiet, reported The Singapore Post.

What worries Imran Khan now is the upcoming local elections in Punjab. It is due early next year and results in Punjab will set the ball rolling for the big elections in 2023, reported The Singapore Post.

The army can play a big role in the Punjab elections, and if it does, the stage is set for a final showdown between the partners.

Iqbal also spoke about the Murree disaster and said that instead of taking preventative measures, the Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government was "busy applauding the increase in tourism there", reported Geo News.

The PML-N leader said that neither the government nor the Murree administration could be seen in action when heavy snowstorms left more than 20 people dead as they ended up being stranded in their cars on the roads.

Shedding light on the economic condition of the country, Ahsan Iqbal said that the "agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a reflection of the government's incompetency and failure."He also briefly talked about the foreign funding case of the PTI government and said that ever since the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has released its inquiry report -- in which it was revealed that the PTI failed to declare millions of rupees -- "Imran Khan's reality has been exposed and he will have to answer the masses for his corruption," reported Geo News. (ANI)

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