- Former premier says he would have made the decision on merit in November
Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan said on Wednesday that he never wanted to appoint his own army chief, adding that political parties in the coalition government were “concerned" that he would appoint Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed as the next chief of army staff.
"I never thought who will be the army chief in November," he said while addressing a seminar organised by the PTI in Islamabad.
"I have no money to hide and would have made the decision on merit rather than fear," he explained.
Indirectly questioning the role of some institutions in the alleged regime change conspiracy against his government, he asked: "Can a watchman remain neutral if there is a robbery in the house?"
PTI Chairman said that he never thought that someone like Shehbaz Sharif would be made the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Talking about the PML-N leader Khurram Dastagir's recent comments where he claimed that Imran Khan was planning to appoint his favourite general as the Army chief in November 2022 and had a 15-year plan to rule the country, he said: "I had no such plans."
“People like Nawaz Sharif try to pick favourites for such positions because they want to save their ill-gotten wealth. I have never even forced Shaukat Khanum Hospital to appoint a person on my orders, how can I do it as a prime minister,” said Imran Khan.
Khan reiterated that he is not anti-American. "I want to have good relations with the US, but I cannot let them use us like tissue papers," he said.
The former premier said that the US wants Pakistan to recognise Israel.
"They don't want to talk about Kashmir because, for the US, India needs to be strengthened, to curtail China’s power," he reasoned.
“The moment we recognise Israel, Pakistan will lose every point the country has on Kashmir."
Khan said that except for a few years under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan has always been at "service to Americans."
The former premier claimed that America gave a total aid of $20 billion to Pakistan while the country lost over $150 billion in the US war on terror.
"This is a decisive moment which will determine the future direction of the country," he said before concluding his speech.