He said this in an interview to SAMAA TV’s NewsBeat
The prime minister has said that COAS General Bajwa is a “sensible” man, which is why there has been no major reaction to Nawaz’s constant accusations against him and the establishment.
He said this in an exclusive interview to SAMAA TV’s show NewsBeat.
“There is a lot of anger in the army, but General Bajwa is a sensible man,” he said, adding that the army chief believes in democracy.
He rebutted accusations that he does not have any real authority, and said that the army is a state institution, which works under him.
On being asked about opposition’s claims that the government wouldn’t hold if not for establishment support, he said that he is the country’s democratically elected prime minister and so the institutions support him.
The prime minister said that Pakistan will not recognise the state of Israel until Palestinian rights are guaranteed.
He rebutted reports claiming that some cabinet members flew to Tel Aviv to hold talks with Israel. He termed the reports part of a wider disinformation campaign carried out by India, which an EU organisation uncovered last week.
Asked if there is any pressure from Saudi Arabia on the issue, he said he has never budged and will not in future under anyone’s pressure.
The prime minister said that the opposition alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement is being supported by anti-democratic forces such as Hussain Haqqani.
“Why is Nawaz so popular in India? He has become a hero there. He is doing what India is doing. Degrading Pakistan, destroying economy,” he said.
He said that the PDM lawmakers’ announcements about resignations are hollow.
“I challenge them to spend at least a week in Islamabad for their protests. Maybe, then I can start thinking about my resignation seriously,” he said. The PDM has been holding anti-government rallies asking that the government resign.
The prime minister said that the opposition does not want to hold talks, and is instead pressuring the army to send a democratic government packing. This can be called treason under Article 6, he said.
The real reason, he said, is that the opposition wants all cases against them be closed, and he give them an NRO.
He called the PDM rally, which the alliance claimed would be major, as a flop-show. “The children of politicians who looted the country for 30 years were leading the rally. What do they know about politics? They have no experience; they thought it’s a huge rally.”
PM Khan said that there are two ways to bring Nawaz Sharif back from London to Pakistan, extradition and deportation, and his government is trying for the second option. He said that extradition is a long process.
The prime minister said he can’t say for sure when the government would be successful in doing so.
“There are huge discrepancies in his medical reports that were shown to us when he was in Pakistan, and his condition apparently now,” he said.
He was asked the reason for government decision to hold Senate elections earlier, in March, and whether it was because of the PDM resignation threats. The prime minister rebutted the claims and said that it is the discretion of the government to decide when to hold the elections.
“We have a margin of one month, according to the Constitution,” he said.
The prime minister said that the elections will be held through the process of open ballot, which will ensure votes are not sold.
Horse-trading has happened before, he said, and this is why we kicked out 20 KP MPs in the previous election.
This will end corruption, he said.
When asked why not discuss the issue in Parliament instead of approaching the Supreme Court, the prime minister said that the attorney general has advised him that it requires only a constitutional amendment. But despite this, we will go to the Supreme Court to ask it to interpret the law for us, he said.
The prime minister said that action will be taken against those named in the recent petrol report.
When asked why there was no investigation against alleged corruption against Asim Saleem Bajwa, he said, “I am not NAB”.
The prime minister said that he is unhappy over how the media compares 30 years of corruption and his government of two years.
“Some people petitioned the court against orders that stopped Nawaz Sharif’s speeches from airing,” he said. “He has corruption cases against him, he has run away from the country to escape them, and [he should be allowed on TV]?”
PM Khan said that Pakistan will support the US and Afghanistan for long-standing peace in the latter.
On being asked if he has spoken with US President-elect Joe Biden yet, the prime minister said he has not.
He said that the Kashmir issue was discussed thrice in the UN, which shows that his government has done more on the issue than Nawaz Sharif.
The prime minister said that the top priorities of the government until the end of its tenure would be the full implementation of the Ehsaas program, industrialisation and an increase in exports, and building mega projects such as Basha dam and two modern cities.