Has Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan finally realised that crossing the red line with the army might cost him his job?
Has Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan finally realised that crossing the red line with the army might cost him his job? His statement at a Cabinet meeting on Thursday night indicates that this may indeed be the case.
“There is no misunderstanding between the government and the army … no one has a better relationship with the military leadership than me … the speculation is not correct as there was a technical error that will be corrected,” Pakistani daily Express Tribune cited Imran Khan as saying.
After the meeting his government also said that “issues” regarding the appointment of the Chief of the Pakistani spy agency Inter State Intelligence (ISI) have been sorted out and a decision will be announced soon.”
But “controversies” are refusing to die down. Now there is a new twist in the ongoing controversy that Khan will be interviewing all three persons who have been shortlisted by the Ministry of Defence and the Pakistani army.
According to sources, this is part of Khan’s public posturing and ultimately Bajwa is going to get his way as the PM cannot defy the all-powerful Pakistani army establishment.
“Now it is being said that the prime minister will be interviewing candidates for a new DG ISI. It is a common practice to meet before being appointed to these positions. It is highly inappropriate to make such an action controversial,” said Fawad Choudhary, Information Minister of Pakistan, in his twitter post in Urdu.
نئی DG ISI کی تقرری کا عمل جلد مکمل ہو جائیگا، ایک مخصوص طبقہ اس معاملے پر جو کھیل کھیلنا چاہتا تھا وہ ناکام ہو چکا ہے اب کہا جا رہا ہے وزیر اعظم نئے DGISI کیلئے انٹرویو کریں گے ان عہدوں پر تعیناتی سے قبل ملاقات ایک عمومی روائیت ہے ایسے عمل کو بھی متنازعہ بنانا انتہائ نامناسب ہے— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) October 14, 2021
But Pakistani experts say that that this has never happened in Pakistan in the last two-three decades and suddenly Imran Khan is asking for a summary of the shortlisted officers from the Defence ministry and the army.
“The usual practice has been that the army chief verbally discusses the appointment of the DG ISI with the Prime Minister. The PM verbally gives his nod following which a note from the army chief’s office is brought to the Prime Minister, who either signs or simply ticks the name of the officer appointed as DG ISI. Generally, the announcement for the DG ISI’s appointment is made by the ISPR following the discussion between the PM and the army chief,” reports Pakistani journalist Ansar Abbasi in The News.
The report says that “someone” is deliberately misleading Prime Minister Imran Khan on “how the DG ISI is appointed.”
The report does not mention the name of the person who is misleading or advising Khan on this delicate issue. But according to whispers, Khan has become a very religious person after his third marriage and he consults his wife Bushra on every important issue that will reflect on him.
According to The News, Khan said in a recent interview, “I am launching a programme today to celebrate the birthday of the Holy Prophet on the advice of my wife Bushra Begum.”
Sources said that just before the elections in 2018, he had visited Baba Fariduddin Ganjshakar’s shrine with his wife, who has been a regular visitor for the last three decades. Khan gives “credit” to his wife for his becoming the PM.
However, whatever the prophecy says, the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the people of Pakistan and Khan himself all know how he became the PM.
Today Imran Khan is seen “challenging” his selector Bajwa over the appointment of DG ISI. According to whispers, Khan wants Faiz Hameed to continue as the DG ISI till his “stars” align in a favourable position. Khan told Bajwa that he wants to keep Hameed till the winter season due to the critical situation in Afghanistan.