Press Trust of India

My government, military working in unison: PM Imran Khan

My government, military working in unison: PM Imran Khan
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Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minster Imran Khan has dismissed reports of any civil-military friction unlike previous regimes, saying his government enjoyed unwavering support of the armed forces, a key player in the country’s politics.
The government of the cricketer-turned-politician, which completed the first 100 days last Friday, said all ministers have reported their achievements to him and that he will review their performance.
“We might change some ministers,” he said on Monday while answering questions by a panel of journalists representing various Pakistani media organisations.
“There is not a single decision that I haven’t taken on my own, and there’s not a single decision that doesn’t have the support of the army,” Khan said while responding to a question on cooperation among state institutions.
“[Chief of Army Staff] General Qamar Javed Bajwa stands right beside my decisions,” he added.
Khan said the Pakistan Army “is currently totally standing by his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s manifesto”.
Pakistan’s Opposition parties have alleged that the military tacitly backed Khan in the general elections in July.
“We have no problems at the present,” he said, adding that his government also hasn’t faced issues of “civil-military discord” as seen during past governments. He was apparently referring to the tension between the previous government of Nawaz Sharif and the military over a number of issues.
Coup-prone Pakistan has been under military rule for almost half of its existence, with many governments deposed before completing its term, mostly at the behest of the country’s powerful armed forces.
Khan defended his close relations with the military, saying leaders around the world seek the opinion of their military establishment “since they are equipped with the means to brief us on security issues”.
Pertinently, Khan in an interview on Monday had also said that war was not a solution to Kashmir issue.
In an interview to a group of television journalists here, Khan said unless there was a dialogue, various options on resolution of Kashmir cannot be discussed.
When asked about the formula to resolve the Kashmir issue, Khan said there were two or three solutions, which have been in discussions.
He, however, refused to share more details, saying it was “too early to talk about them”.
Khan claimed he was informed by late prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former foreign minister Natwar Singh during a conference that Kashmir would have been resolved if the BJP had not lost the 2004 Lok Sabha elections.
Replying to a query on his views on the military’s role in shaping of foreign policy in every country, including the US, he said, “Advice from the establishment is taken in those issues where security situation is involved.”
Khan said the Pakistan Army and his government “are on the same page” and his decisions are “backed” by the military. (PTI)

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