PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Wednesday congratulated the newly appointed military leadership, expressing the hope that it would work to “end the prevailing trust deficit” between the nation and the state.

Last week, Gen Asim Munir, a soldier with considerable operational experience and a career steeped in intelligence, was designated as the country’s 17th army chief while Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza, another infantry officer with an enviable career, was appointed as the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committee.

The appointments ended weeks of intense speculation about who will lead the powerful military following Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa’s retirement. Gen Mirza took charge on Nov 27 while Gen Munir assumed charge on Nov 29.

In a tweet today, Imran felicitated the new military command. “We hope the new military leadership will work to end the prevailing trust deficit that has built up in the last 8 months between the nation and the state.

“The strength of the state is derived from its people,” the PTI chief added.

Along with the message, Imran also shared a screenshot of a purported quote by Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, which some people on social media questioned the veracity of.

Imran slammed for ‘selective memory’

Reacting to Imran’s statement, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb took exception to his claim and questioned whether Quaid-i-Azam had also offered an indefinite extension to the army chief behind closed doors.

The information minister, addressing a press conference in Islamabad, said the only mistrust present was the one in Imran’s mind.

Aurangzeb said Imran was now twiddling his thumbs after the party’s long march and advised him to do the following two things: Declare all the gifts he had taken from the Toshakhana and follow through on registering a case against the Jang Group and Dubai-based businessman Umar Zahoor for the claims they made against him.

“You know that if you file the case, you will have to provide details about the watch and all those details related to the Toshakhana which have yet to be revealed to the nation.”

As for the PTI’s announcement to leave the provincial assemblies, she said Imran only wanted political instability and discord in the country.

PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz claimed Imran had a “selective memory” but other people did not.

“You collude with certain elements of the establishment, they raise and feed you like their godson. Now you beg for their unconstitutional interference and when it is denied you call them traitors. You have the audacity to talk about trust deficit? You think people are fools,” she tweeted.

PML-N leader Muhammad Zubair was also of the opinion that the PTI chief had “selective memory”.

“He supported the direct military intervention of Musharraf and then directly benefitted through Shuja Pasha, Zaheerul Islam and others completely forgetting what Quaid said about the military’s role and what boundaries have been set in our Constitution,” he said.

In a message from its Twitter account, PML-N called Imran a “fascist” who was “literally begging for unconstitutional intervention till the very last day”.

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