ISLAMABAD: PTI chief Imran Khan came under fire on Tuesday, with the coalition government accusing him of conspiring to derail democracy in the country.

At a press conference, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan blasted Imran Khan for his remarks about martial law and made it clear that no political party would ever accept such an unconstitutional step.

Referring to the military establishment, Mr Sanaullah said that those who could impose martial law had now decided, as an institution, to abide by the Constitution and let the country move forward on a democratic path.

He was reacting to the PTI chief’s remarks he made on Monday night during an interview with a TV channel. Asked by the anchor about his point of view on the “talk about martial law” in recent days, Mr Khan said: “If they want, they may impose martial law. What are they scaring me for?”

Late on Tuesday night, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif told a private news channel the establishment was supporting the democratic setup and there was no chance that a martial law would be imposed in the country.

The PTI was trying to drag security institutions into politics, he said, adding that security institutions “are well aware of their responsibilities given in the Constitution”.

Separately, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman also berated Mr Khan and said his remarks indicated a “fascist mentality”. In a series of tweets, she said while institutions maintained they would not meddle in politics, Mr Khan insisted on their intervention. “His objective is that either they offer a deal or impose martial law,” she said.

Similarly, PPP stalwart Raza Rabbani said Mr Khan’s quest for power had driven him to a point where he wanted the system to be wrapped up rather than sit in the opposition.

Published in Dawn, November 2nd, 2022

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