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Imran Khan forced opposition to take names of Army generals in rallies, says PPP Chairperson

News Agencies | Updated on: 18 October 2020, 8:51 IST

Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday said his party did not want to take the names of army generals at rallies as "such moves" could impact the integrity of national institutions.

"It saddens me to see generals' names being taken at rallies -- whether those held by the prime minister or the opposition. This weakens the integrity of our institutions, which we do not want," he said as quoted by Dawn.

"But what can we do when the army is deployed at polling stations in general elections [and] Imran Khan says in every speech 'this or that institution is with me, we are all on the same page'?" Bilawal asked, accusing the prime minister of using institutions as "political props".

"When we take the establishment's name, we realise that only today's generals or retired generals [are not to be blamed] but it is a part of our history that we either received dictatorship or a controlled democracy," he said.

According to Dawn, he made these remarks while speaking to reporters in Karachi after reviewing arrangements for the Pakistan Democratic Movement's (PDM) second power show, which is scheduled to be held in the city today.

Earlier PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, while addressing the PDM rally via video link from London, accused the security establishment of being behind his ouster as Prime Minister and of "bringing Imran Khan into power".

The former Prime Minister named Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed alleging that they were responsible for making a "state above the state" and for the presence of "two governments" in Pakistan.

A day after former Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif tore into 'puppet government' of the country during Gurjanwala anti-government rally, a disgruntled Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday lashed out at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo for allegedly maligning the top army leadership, and deemed as "a circus", the opposition's power show.

Remarking on the speech given by Sharif during the opposition rally, Prime Minister Khan said the PML-N leader was using inappropriate "language" against the army and ISI chiefs at a time when Pakistani soldiers were constantly sacrificing their lives for the nation, Dawn reported.

Pakistan opposition leaders along with an "ocean" of people made their way to Gujranwala for the first show of strength of their anti-government campaign.

The recently-formed Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) held its first anti-government protest in Gujranwala on Friday. The opposition comprising 11 parties including PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz), PPP (Pakistan People's Party), and JUI-F (Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl) will be holding the Gujranwala Rally.

The anti-government rally has been organised to protest against army atrocities and demand for PM Imran Khan's resignation in the backdrop of corruption, economic slowdown, and poor governance.


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First published: 18 October 2020, 8:51 IST