ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday exchanged views on Prime Minister’s address to the UN General Assembly this week, it was reliably learnt.

Although there was no official word about their meeting either from the media office of the Prime Minister or ISPR, informed sources said Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi was also in attendance.

According to sources, they discussed overall security situation in the country with special focus on the situation on unprovoked firing and ceasefire violations by the India security forces alongside Line of Control (LoC).

Political observers are attaching significance to the meeting between the Prime Minister and the Army Chief as it comes a day after the Opposition parties All Parties Conference (APC).

In a joint-resolution adopted by the APC, the Opposition parties demanded non-interference of Armed Forces in the country’s political affairs as well as the elections. In a related development, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday took a jibe at his convicted predecessor Mian Nawaz Sharif stating that “once again a fugitive sitting in London is maligning the state institutions”.

Speaking to spokespersons of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Prime Minister said that Nawaz Sharif and PML-N have once again promoted the Indian agenda. 

Imran Khan pointed out that Nawaz Sharif’s speech and the story published in Times of India reflect the same agenda. He noted that Nawaz Sharif was handed a seven-year jail term on charges of financial corruption and the government and the court had allowed him to travel to London for treatment of some undiagnosed ailment late last year. But now he has refused to return and a court has declared him a proclaimed offender, he remarked.

He said that India wanted to vilify Pakistan’s State institution ahead of the UN General Assembly session which opened on Sept 15 and will continue until Sept 30. Prime Minister continued that New Delhi wanted to take the global spotlight off its reign of terror in Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), which has been under lockdown for more than a year now.

Indian media has been spewing venom against Pakistan since Sharif’s rant against the State institutions, he said. An international lobby has been active against Pakistan’s state institutions, he added. “We will not allow anyone to malign our institutions.”

 

The Prime Minister also slammed Sunday’s All Party Conference (APC), stating that it was an attempt by Opposition politicians to malign the state institutions in a bid to cover their financial corruption.

 

“I had predicted much earlier that they all would unite for personal interests,” he added.

The ruling party has decided to give the Opposition a befitting response by exposing their real motives, he said. Prime Minister said that Pakistan owns its territorial integrity and sovereignty to its Armed Forces.

“Countries like Libya, Iraq and Syria have been destroyed because they didn’t have strong militaries,” he added. He said that Pakistan’ Armed Forces have always stepped forward whenever called out in natural disasters, calamities or emergencies. “We will not allow anyone to malign our Armed Forces and our judiciary,” Prime Minister added.

 

On Sunday, speaking at the APC via video link on Sunday, Sharif has said the opposition’s struggle was not against Imran Khan “but against those who had imposed such an incapable person on the country through a rigged election.”

 

Last week, the military leadership on its part had clearly told a group of Parliamentarians mostly from the Opposition parties that the Pakistan Army was “not involved, directly or indirectly, in any political process of the country”, therefore it should not be dragged into political parties’ matters. “If the need arises, the army will stand with the civilian government,” a senior military official had told parliamentary leaders in the meeting.  

The military leadership had also told the civilians that the Army was not involved in either electoral reforms or problems related to the National Accountability Bureau and other political matters.

The military leadership had also told them that it was the responsibility of the political leadership to work out such matters between themselves. According to reports, the meeting was attended by Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director-General of Inter Services Intelligence Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.