Islamabad: Ahead of the polls in Punjab province, former Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has deplored the imbalance in civil-military relations, and accused the previous PPP and PML-N governments of ceding space to the army to ‘save their own skin’ in corruption cases, Dawn reported on Sunday.
Khan made these remarks at a seminar on freedom of expression, a day ahead of crucial by-polls in Punjab, where his party is contesting 20 Punjab Assembly seats across the province.
“Because of this imbalance, a situation has developed that [now] the establishment isn’t realizing [the consequences of] the actions it is committing,” he said while referring to a crackdown against his party following his ouster as a result of the no-confidence motion.
“We cannot afford a weak army… we have to protect it. If the distance between the army and the public keeps increasing, which it is, then it will eventually harm the army and Pakistan.”
According to Khan, democracy depended on “moral strength” and not physical strength, which he said the Pakistani military possesses.
Khan also urged the establishment to take a U-turn on its support for the incumbent government. He said that Pakistan stood at a critical juncture and it was very important that the “right decisions” were made today.
He also questioned whether the decision taken by the military establishment behind “closed doors” to support the incumbent regime was beneficial to Pakistan.