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Pak army wants Imran Khan booked for treason for attacking military leadership

Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Pakistan’s new government has decided to file a case against the ousted former premier Imran Khan following his heavy attack against the Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa. In a statement released late Sunday night,  Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif announced that a treason case will be filed against Imran Khan for his speeches against Pakistan and its powerful military establishment.

"Imran first conspired to destroy the economy of the country and now planning to trigger civil-war in Pakistan", said Shehbaz Sharif adding that Khan’s “nefarious designs” would be crushed at all costs.

Sharif’s statement came after the Pakistani army came heavily on Imran Khan. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistani military’s media wing, took exception to “intensified and deliberate attempts to drag Pakistan armed forces and their leadership in ongoing political discourse in the country.”

"Pakistan armed forces take strong exception to such unlawful and unethical practice and expect all to abide by the law and keep the armed forces out of political discourse in the best interest of the country,” said the ISPR in a press release which came hours after former prime minister Imran Khan, during a rally in Abbottabad mocked the army chief Bajwa’s concept of neutrality, saying that God hadn't permitted human beings to remain neutral when the time comes to stand up for justice and support the good.

In a veiled attack on Pakistani  Imran Khan said without naming the General, that "on Pakistan's Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Imran Khan has alleged that some elements in the powerful establishment who indulged in bad practices" were responsible for his unceremonious ouster from power.

"There are also humans in institutions. If one or two individuals do something wrong, the entire institution is not responsible. If one person (in an apparent reference to Army chief Gen. Bajwa) makes a mistake, this does not mean that the whole institution is at fault.

“God will ask you if you struggled against an imported government. You won't be able to make the excuse that you were neutral,” Khan said in his speech.

This is not the first time the Pakistani army has issued warnings in recent weeks. It has been repeatedly asking Imran Khan and his close leaders to refrain from dragging the army into their politics.

Pakistan analysts believe that it has been hard for Imran Khan to digest the fact that his “selector” General Bajwa has dumped him for those who have been accusing the army of rigging the 2018 elections to make him the prime minister.

“Sometimes he equates himself to a “Messenger” (God forbid) asking people to carry his message. At another time as the Messenger or Caliph  under whose command was Khalid bin Waleed. Now, he’s walking on thin ice,” says Syed Ayaz Bokhari, an expert.

Some Pakistan watchers believe that being an insider, Imran Khan knows many “secrets” of the security establishment and by attacking indirectly on its leadership, Khan is trying to blackmail them.

“Khan thinks that if he can succeed in provoking the army, it might facilitate his return to power but Bajwa is not listening. His main worry is to keep his generals united and not divided. There are indications the Bajwa may do some cleaning up in the army and pro-Imran generals may be shifted to less important posts. One thing is sure, Bajwa is not going to tolerate Imran Khan’s hysterics any longer,” says one Pakistan watcher.

Now Imran Khan has called for a  long march of millions to Islamabad in the coming weeks to create a volatile situation that compels the army to step into the fray and order fresh elections immediately.

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