Army denies speculations of rift between PM, COAS


The Pakistan Army has dismissed speculations pertaining to alleged rifts between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In his television programme, anchorperson Kashif Abbasi said that he spoke to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor regarding this the other day.

“I spoke to the ISPR DG the other day and asked him about speculations on social media pertaining to a lack of understanding and consensus between the premier and the army chief on various issues considering that there was also a long gap between their last two meetings,” he said.

“Major General Ghafoor rejected such ‘baseless gossips’ and said that there is absolutely nothing of the sort. He told me that the army is fully supporting the democratically elected government in line with the Constitution and there will be no let up in this as it is essential for the progress and prosperity of the country,” he added.

“The ISPR DG said that prime minister and army chief are in regular touch with each other and meetings take place when required. Not every meeting is disclosed to the media and there have been meetings in what is being termed as the long gap,” he further said.

Speculations became rife when journalist Najam Sethi, in his editorial in a local weekly, wrote that while PM Imran has signed the notification related to General Bajwa’s extension, he has hidden it from the public domain.

He also wrote that despite the premier’s insistence that the government and opposition are on the same page, they are clearly not on the same page as far as dealing with the opposition is concerned.

He further wrote that the prime minister is defying the establishment in Nawaz Sharif’s case, and this would only be possible if the former was uncertain whether the latter would stick around for a few more years.