NEW YORK - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday ruled out any chance of a coup in the country despite the civil-military tensions, and said that the biggest enemy of the civilian government is the government itself.
Speaking on CNN, he said the age of military coups was over. Pakistan had moved on, there was strong media and opposition in the country and the military could not just walk in.
The cricketer-turned-politician said that military dictatorship was not the answer to the country’s many problems as he stressed the need for a strong representative government. “I don’t think there is any chance of a military coup in Pakistan,” he said in interview by satellite on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS Sunday programme.
Terming the present government as the ‘worst in the history of Pakistan’, he said the people were suffering because of galloping inflation, gas and electricity shortages and lack of employment opportunities.
Imran accused the government of stonewalling the Supreme Court decisions and thereby creating a crisis, and thus making the situation grim.
About the activities of what anchorman Zakaria called ‘Jihadi groups’, the PTI chief said that the bombing of the tribal areas was responsible for the growth of extremism. What was needed was a political dialogue with the militants, as he has always been advocating. Noting that the US was now trying to talk to the Taliban, he said, “But you can fight and talk at the same time. You need to have a political settlement”.
“There are a million armed men in the tribal areas. We need to give peace a chance by engaging them in a political dialogue” in order to end the war.
Asked how he would deal with the situation if he became the prime minister, Imran said he would immediately have ceasefire and then enter into a dialogue and win them over for the sake of peace and stability.