PESHAWAR / ISLAMABAD: Former prime minister Imran Khan has said he does not believe in appointing his favourites as the army chief, ISI director general, NAB chairman and IGP, adding such appointments should be made on merit with ‘hardworking people’ being selected.
The PTI chairman expressed these views in reference to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s recent interview in which the latter alleged that Mr Khan wanted to reverse democracy and bring his own army and ISI chiefs.
While addressing a public rally in Karak on Sunday, Mr Khan alleged the PPP chairman and his father Asif Ali Zardari had no knowledge of merit. If they had, they would have appointed former leader of house in the Senate Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan, who is a highly educated politician, as foreign minister, he remarked.
“No institution can be put on track to development until its head is appointed on merit while both the PPP and PML-N leaderships had never appointed heads of the institutions on merit,” Mr Khan said. Both these families, rather dynasties, have looted Pakistan in the past 30 years and parked that money in foreign banks, he added.
During these three decades, Mr Khan said, China, Malaysia and Indonesia became richer due to their constant struggle to increase exports. “Without increasing export, a country cannot become financially stable,” he explained to the crowd.
However, the cricketer-turned-politician assured the people that the corrupt leaders would not be allowed to siphon off the nation’s wealth from the country into their bank accounts, as he would take all three wickets — Zardari, Shehbaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehman — in the elections.
Ridiculing Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Mr Khan called him ‘boot polisher’ and jeered: “Whenever he sees a boot, he starts polishing it. The much the boot is bigger, the better polisher he becomes.”
He then criticised JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for getting his son, Asad Mehmood, appointed as federal Minister for Communications instead of helping him in getting the portfolio of religious affairs. Mr Khan alleged this did not happen, because there were better opportunities in the communication ministry to make money.
Reiterating his oft-repeated stance about a foreign conspiracy behind change of government this year, Mr Khan said 60 per cent members of the incumbent federal cabinet were facing corruption cases and were on bail. The rulers imposed on the nation had huge money in foreign banks and foreign properties, he said, adding that this was the reason they could not resist pressure from such powers and became suitable for them. Lending strength to his claim, Mr Khan said the PPP and PML-N leadership between 2008 and 2018 did not utter a single word against the 400 drone attacks despite the killing of the people of their own country in these attacks.
Imran sets up advisory council
Meanwhile, the PTI chief constituted ‘Chairman’s Advisory Council’, with Advocate Hamid Khan to act as its chairman, to render advice to the former prime minister on various issues of importance and relevance.
According to a party notification available with Dawn, the 10-member council comprises Raoof Hasan, Najeeb Haroon, Arshad Dad, Jamal Ansari, Khalid Masood, Saleem Jan, Yakub Azhar, Tasneem Noorani, Bakhtiar Kasuri besides chairman Hamid Khan.
The council would meet on Thursday (Sept 29) in Islamabad to discuss its future strategy, Hamid Khan told Dawn.
PTI’s internal structure
The council chairman, who is a founding member of the party, believed that although Mr Khan had become the country’s most popular leader, PTI’s internal structure had become weak.
He said most council members were party’s founding members or were with it for at least 20 years. “There is also former secretary general of the party Arshad Dad and two former provincial presidents [in the council], so I believe that we will be able to make a plan and it will be shared with party chairman Imran Khan,” he said.
Asked what kind of issues were on his mind, the advisory council chairman said: “The internal structure of the party is not very strong and we will devise a strategy regarding it.” He explained that the former premier and party chairman had become the country’s most popular leader, but there were issues in PTI’s internal structure.
Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2022