No pressure from military, all decisions are my own: PM
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that he was not under any pressure from the Armed Forces of Pakistan, saying that the PTI government was in charge of the country's foreign policy.
"The army hasn't [directed] me to do one thing which I did not want to do," he said. The entire foreign policy [being implemented today] is mine, you can check the PTI's manifesto," he added.
The premier was being interviewed by a private news channel during which he spoke on various issues and also took aim at the Opposition leadership.
The prime minister said that Pakistan's foreign policy today was centered around the PTI's manifesto, adding that the world was praising Pakistan for advocating non-military solutions to conflicts.
"There was pressure on us to take a side in a conflict between any Muslim countries; we said we would remain neutral and play our role in uniting Muslim countries instead," he said.
Speaking about former SAPM on information Lt Gen (retired) Asim Saleem Bajwa, PM Imran Khan said that he was made the CPEC chairman based on his credentials.
"He had served in the past as the Commander Southern Command in Balochistan and had also worked closely with the Chinese," said PM Imran Khan. "Gwadar is the focal point of the whole CPEC project."
The premier said that the government had appointed Lt Gen (retired) Bajwa as the SAPM on information as he had worked as the DG ISPR in the past as well and had the much-needed experience for the job.
When asked to say on camera if Lt Gen (retired) Bajwa is not guilty of corruption, the premier said: "I cannot say this because it is not my job to say this. However, I will say that he gave a very detailed answer to the allegations against him. I sat with our law minister and reviewed it," he said.
Imran Khan said these were mere allegations and if anyone had any problems with it, they should file a case against the retired army officer with the National Accountability Bureau.
Responding to a question, he said that former PTI general-secretary Jahangir Tareen was going through "difficult times" but said that he would not interfere in the sugar inquiry investigation.
"Jahangir Tareen has been really close to us [in the past], we have worked together in the past closely," he said. "Tareen says he is innocent. The investigation is going on, I will not interfere in matters of institutions," added the prime minister.
Imran Khan said that under his government, an inquiry against the sugar cartel was launched for the first time in Pakistan's history. He said that an FIR had also been registered against Tareen.
'We need both Fayyaz Chohan and Firdous Ashiq Awan'
The prime minister was asked about former Punjab government spokesperson Fayyaz Chohan who was shown the door a couple of weeks ago and Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was appointed special assistant to the chief minister of Punjab.
"We need both Fayyaz Chohan and Firdous Ashiq Awan," he said. "In order to win the match, you need to change the team sometimes," added PM Imran Khan.
The premier said that Chohan wanted a "strong" ministry which he had been given now.
Speaking further about the Punjab government, PM Imran Khan said that the PTI had brought in people on merit. "The same setup was in power in Punjab over the past 30 years," he said. "We brought in people on merit."
He said that the new IG Punjab was doing a fabulous job, adding that Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was doing a commendable job as far as development projects were concerned.