Army assails Imran Khan over ‘malicious allegations against senior military officer’

Military warns PTI chief of “taking legal course of action” against “malafide statements”

Web Desk
Zarmeen Zehra
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry addressing a press conference on April 25, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry addressing a press conference on April 25, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/PTVNewsLive

  • Army warns Khan of “legal action” against “malafide statements”.
  • Khan's been levelling allegations against officer without evidence, says army.
  • “These fabricated, malicious allegations are extremely unfortunate."

RAWALPINDI: The army came down hard on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Monday for his “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against a senior military officer, who is currently serving in the armed forces.

“[The] chairman PTI has levelled highly irresponsible and baseless allegations against a serving senior military officer without any evidence,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a statement, as Khan continues his tirade against the establishment.

The PTI chief has claimed that the senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the assassination attempt on him on November 3, 2022, but provided no evidence to authorities so far, while all the people accused have rejected the allegations.

“These fabricated and malicious allegations are extremely unfortunate, deplorable and unacceptable,” the top military spokesperson said.

Senior analyst Shahzeb Khanzada said although what happened with the deposed prime minister in November was a tragedy, his track record forces one to believe that he might be targeting people to bolster his political support, with anchorperson Muneeb Farooq backing his analysis.

Khan has also blamed former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for his government’s ouster in April last year, but has still not been able to prove it. 

The army’s spokesperson, in the statement, also said that a pattern has been witnessed over the last year, wherein, the army personnel are targetted for one’s political motives.

“This has been a consistent pattern for [the] last one year wherein military and intelligence agencies officials are targeted with insinuations and sensational propaganda for the furtherance of political objectives.”

The ISPR DG added that politicos should refrain from making baseless allegations and warned that if such a trend were to continue, the army had the right to take legal action.

“We ask the political leader concerned to make recourse to legal avenues and stop making false allegations. The institution reserves the right to take legal course of action against patently false and malafide statements and propaganda.”

Earlier, in response to Khan's allegations right a day after he was shot, the army had said that his "baseless and irresponsible allegations" against the institution and particularly a senior army officer are "absolutely unacceptable and uncalled for".

'Are military officers above the law?'

Before the army's statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had condemned the PTI chief's tirade against the senior military officer. At this, Khan slammed the premier, asking whether "[military] officers were above the law?"

"As someone who has suffered 2 assassination attempts on his life in last few months, can I dare to ask SS the following Qs: Have I, a citizen, the right to nominate those I feel were responsible for assassination attacks on me? Why was I denied my legal & Constitutional right to register an FIR?"

"Does SS tweet mean mly officers are above the law or that they cannot commit a crime?" he wondered. The PTI chief further asked that if a person is being blamed for a crime, how can it be perceived that an entire institution is being maligned?

"Who was so powerful as to sabotage Wazirabad JIT while PTI govt was in power in Punjab?"

Khan, without naming anyone, said that when PM Shehbaz can truthfully answer all his questions, it would point to one powerful man and his accomplices "all being above the law". 

"Then it is time for us to officially declare that in Pakistan there is only law of the jungle where Might is Right."