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In latest interview, PM Imran Khan reiterates ‘all institutions’ stand by him

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday stressed that all state institutions, along with the army, stand by him amid mounting pressure from the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).

The prime minister, in an interview with Samaa TV, said: “There are excellent civil-military ties in the country.”

Speaking further about the civil-military dynamic, he said that the army serves under him as he is the prime minister, and as the army is a government institution.

Meanwhile, speaking about the Opposition’s criticism of the army, he said that “anger” and “disappointment” prevailed among the ranks after Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was targeted.

“Gen Bajwa believes in democracy. Had it been another general, he would have given a quick rebuttal,” PM Imran Khan said, adding that the army chief was “angry”, but he was “controlling it”.

No ‘minister went to Israel’

The premier, in the interview, dismissed reports of any Pakistani representative visiting Israel, saying that why would any of the ministers visit Tel Aviv when Islamabad does not recognise it.

He stressed that the news was “baseless” and that “an entire campaign” was running in this regard.

Referring to the EU DisinfoLab’s report, the prime minister said that the NGO’s research had exposed India’s network that was spreading misinformation about Pakistan.

Speaking about the Pakistan Democratic Movement, the premier said that he was ready to face everything the 11-party alliance aims at throwing at him.

“The PDM can do anything that it wants. I am ready,” he said.

The premier said that the PDM’s Lahore rally had damaged the Opposition’s alliance. “I am a jalsa specialist and I am telling you that this was a flop show.”

‘It would be better if they resigned’

“If they resign, it would be better for Pakistan,” the prime minister said, referring to the Opposition’s threat of resigning from the assemblies soon.

The prime minister said that he would assist the Opposition if they came to Islamabad. “They cannot even last a week [in Islamabad] even if I support them.”

Shedding light on early elections, he said that there was space for the government to hold Senate elections a month earlier.

Senate elections

“Show of hands means open ballot,” he said, as he explained the method that the government aims to introduce in the upcoming Senate elections.

The prime minister reminded the interviewer that his party had dismissed several members as they were involved in horse-trading during the Senate elections.

“It would be better [for the election to be held] through open ballot as it would end corruption,” he said.

The premier said that if the senators were elected on merit, they would play a productive role in the upper house.

He added that the attorney general is of the opinion that voting can be held via open ballot; however, the government will seek Supreme Court’s guidance on it.

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