Never pressured by military leadership on any matter: PM

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Nawaz and Zardari were ‘selected’ as they came into power without political struggle, says premier
news desk
islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that he was never pressured by the country’s military leadership on any matter including foreign policy.
Responding to a question during an exclusive interview to Express News on Saturday night, the prime minister said the past rulers always claimed that they had conflict with the army due to its interference in the foreign policy of the country. “I have always advocated that military is not the option to resolve the Afghan conflict and now we are pursuing the same policy,” he explained.
Commenting on opposition’s allegations that he was brought into power by the security establishment, PM Imran said: “I was never pressured by military on any matter and they [military leadership] had never opposed my decisions.”
On the appointment of retired army officers on civilian’s positions, the premier said Lt-Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa was his personal choice due to his experience of serving as the commander southern command and dealing with Chinese officials.
He further added that Bajwa was inducted into the information ministry team because of his ‘outstanding performance’ while he was the head of military’s media wing, the ISPR.
‘Nawaz, Zardari selected’
PM Imran, while responding to the opposition parties’ rhetoric, said he was not “selected” as he came into power after 22 years of political struggle. “On the other hand, military installed Nawaz into politics… Zardari also has no history of political struggle and his son Bilawal Bhutto became party chairman through a controversial will of his mother,” he stated.
Setting aside the allegations of rigging, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader said the 2018 general elections were far fairer and more transparent than the 2013 polls. “FAFEN in its report said 2018 elections were better than 2013.”
Political victimisation
Speaking about his party’s anti-corruption drive, the premier while dispelling the impression of lopsided accountability said all corruption cases against opposition leaders were registered before his party came into power.

PTI government believed that all institutions of the country including the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) must work without any interference and political pressure, said the premier maintaining that the government had no role in the arrest of opposition leaders on graft charges.
He said opposition parties were pressuring his government to give them concession into the corruption cases. “They even blackmailed my government on the matter of FATF bills and demanded relaxing NAB laws in return for support in legislative bills,” he added.
Speaking about the PTI’s disgruntled leader Jahangir Tareen, PM Imran he was facing inquiry in the sugar scam and a case has also been registered against him along with other accused.
The prime minister said that Tareen had worked for the party for long time and they remained very close. “Tareen has been going through a difficult time and he claims that the cases against him are false,” he added.
Reiterating his resolve, the prime minister said all those involved would have to face the law and he will not interfere in the matter. All the institutions and departments investigating the sugar mills scam had been given full independence, he maintained.