Tuesday June 25, 2024

Umar ‘endorses’ military’s stance on legal recourse to probe Imran’s allegations

Statement comes hours after ISPR slams PTI chairman for his “baseless allegations” against a senior military officer

By Web Desk
May 08, 2023
PTI leader Asad Umar speaks with the media outside the Supreme Court building prior to start of a hearing, in Islamabad on April 6, 2022. — AFP
PTI leader Asad Umar speaks with the media outside the Supreme Court building prior to start of a hearing, in Islamabad on April 6, 2022. — AFP 

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Secretary General Asad Umar on Monday endorsed the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) statement asking the party chief Imran Khan to take legal recourse instead of levelling "baseless allegations" against the senior military official.

His statement came hours after the army came down hard on the former prime minister for his “irresponsible and baseless allegations” against a senior serving military officer.

“[The] chairman PTI has levelled highly irresponsible and baseless allegations against a serving senior military officer without any evidence,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a statement, as Khan continues his tirade against the establishment.

Responding to the ISPR’s statement, Umar in a Twitter statement said he “totally” agreed with the ISPR that a legal recourse should be taken to resolve the allegations.

He said Khan had tried to take legal action by filing a first information report (FIR) and approaching the supreme court against the senior intelligence officer.

The deposed premier — who was ousted via a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly in April last year — has claimed that the senior military officer, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, and Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah were behind the assassination attempt on him on November 3, 2022, but provided no evidence to authorities so far, while all the officials have rejected the allegations.

In today’s statement, the military’s chief spokesperson further warned Imran Khan, saying: “We ask the political leader concerned to make recourse to legal avenues and stop making false allegations. The institution reserves the right to take legal course of action against patently false and malafide statements and propaganda.”

“The institution supporting that legal recourse would be a very positive step forward,” the former PTI minister added.

'Are military officers above the law?'

Before the army's statement, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had condemned the PTI chief's tirade against the senior military officer. At this, Imran Khan slammed the premier, asking whether "[military] officers are above the law?"

"As someone who has suffered 2 assassination attempts on his life in [the] last few months, can I dare to ask SS the following Qs: Have I, a citizen, the right to nominate those I feel were responsible for assassination attacks on me? Why was I denied my legal & Constitutional right to register an FIR?"

"Does SS tweet mean mly officers are above the law or that they cannot commit a crime?" he wondered. The PTI chief further asked that if a person is being blamed for a crime, how can it be perceived that an entire institution is being maligned?

"Who was so powerful as to sabotage Wazirabad JIT while [the] PTI govt was in power in Punjab?"

Khan, without naming anyone, said that when PM Shehbaz can truthfully answer all his questions, it would point to point to one powerful man and his accomplices "all being above the law".

"Then it is time for us to officially declare that in Pakistan there is only law of the jungle where Might is Right."