Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan says self-proclaimed democrats seeking Army’s help to ‘overthrow’ him

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday claimed that those who call themselves “democratic” were seeking the Army’s help to topple his government as he criticised the Opposition parties.

His attack on the Opposition parties came during the ground-breaking ceremony of a highway upgradation and rehabilitation project, The Express Tribune newspaper reported.

Khan, without naming anyone, said that the Opposition leaders call themselves democratic but talk about overthrowing an elected government.

“They (the Opposition) openly asked the Army to overthrow my government,” the Prime Minister said.

The powerful Army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy. In 2018, when the former Pakistani cricket captain won the election, the Opposition had alleged that Khan was backed by the military.

Khan said that change in the country can’t be brought without a prolonged struggle.

“Ever since our government came (into power), the Opposition has been screaming that it has failed.

“People ask where is the change that was promised? I tell them that it is not something that comes overnight, nor is it a switch that one can turn on,” he said.

In a veiled attack on deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif, he said that when farmers are given incentives, they invest in farming and not buy apartments and houses in London.

Sharif, the 70-year-old supremo of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) who was ousted from power in 2017 by the Supreme Court on corruption charges, is currently in London for medical treatment.

He has been critical of the government led by Khan and also the role of the military in the country’s politics.

Sharif has previously directly named Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for interfering in the elections of 2018 to ensure victory of Khan.

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