Islamabad [Pakistan], May 6 (ANI): Former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that he never meddled in Pakistan Army’s affairs and never wanted to bring his own army chief amid the reports of disagreement between him and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
In a podcast, Khan spoke on reports of a disagreement between him and Bajwa, particularly related to the posting of the former chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Lt General Faiz Hameed.
“It is said that there was some unpleasantness over Gen Faiz’s appointment and [they said] he wants to make Gen Faiz the army chief. This is where it started,” Dawn newspaper quoted Khan as saying.
“I have never had an issue with army because I have never interfered [in their matters]. I never wanted to bring my own army chief. I always wanted to make the institutions of army, police and judiciary strong,” he said.
Last year, reports had surfaced of an alleged standoff between the military and the government over the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new chief of the ISI, Dawn newspaper reported.
The army had announced on October 6, 2021 that the former ISI chief, Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, had been appointed the Peshawar corps commander, while Lt Gen Anjum was appointed in his place. But the country’s Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had not issued an official notification of Lt Gen Anjum’s appointment until three weeks later, leading to frenzied speculation of strains in civil-military relations, the Pakistani newspaper reported.
After delays, Pakistan’s PMO had eventually notified the appointment of Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum as the new ISI chief on October 26.
According to experts in defence matters, the procedure for appointment of the ISI director general is neither mentioned in the Constitution nor the Army Act, and all previous appointments were made as per traditions under which the army chief proposes three names to the prime minister who then makes the final decision, Dawn newspaper reported.
Imran Khan who was elected as the Prime Minister in 2018, was ousted through the no-trust motion by the opposition alliance last month.
Notably, he is the first PM who was ousted through a no-confidence motion in the country’s 75-year political history. Former Pakistan PM has blamed an “American conspiracy” for his exit. Army has rejected this claim, although it acknowledged there was an “interference” in Islamabad’s internal affairs.
Earlier, Pakistan former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry acknowledged a bitterness in the relationship between Imran Khan and the army.
“The PTI would have been in power had our relations with the establishment were good,” Chaudhry was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune citing his interview with Express News. (ANI)