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'No pressure from Army', says Imran Khan amid protests against military establishment inference in governance

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Islamabad | November 29, 2020 10:42:41 AM IST
Amid rising discontent in the country over Pakistan military establishment interference in the politics and governance, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that there has been no pressure from the Army in making the foreign policy.

Khan, who is often called as 'selected PM', said that Pakistan's foreign policy today was centred around the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) manifesto, The News International reported.

"The Army hasn't [directed] me to do one thing which I did not want to do," he said. "I would have resisted to the Army if they exerted pressure on me. The entire foreign policy [being implemented today] is mine, you can check with the PTI's manifesto," he said in an interview.

Pakistan Army has often been accused of meddling in the foreign policy of Pakistan.

"There was pressure on us to take a side in a conflict of any Muslim countries, we said we would remain neutral and play our role in uniting Muslim countries instead," he said.

The interview comes at a time when Pakistan's Opposition has upped the ante against the government and the Army.

The opposition under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) has so far organised four rallies.

The main demand of the opposition parties is that the Imran Khan government must go. They have alleged that he was not so much elected as "selected" in the 2018 election by the Pakistan Army.

When asked to respond to allegations of being a "selected" prime minister, Khan said that he couldn't understand their criticism at him.

He said that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was the leader of his party because "he had shown a piece of paper" (in reference to Benazir Bhutto's will) and Maryam Nawaz was leading the PML-N because she was Nawaz Sharif's daughter.

"And they make these allegations against a man who has struggled in politics for the past 22 years," said the Prime Minister, referring to himself.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has attacked the Army's role in politics in Pakistan, singling out Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa by name to blame him for Pakistan's ills.

During the Peshawar rally early this week, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman tore into Prime Minister Imran Khan government and the army on Sunday, saying the rulers "should now be shamed and sent home". (ANI)

 
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