Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has reiterated that his government’s relationship with the country’s powerful military was “exceptional and the Opposition’s narrative regarding a rift between the two was “dead and buried”, a media report said on Tuesday. In an apparent response to his detractors, Khan told a meeting of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf: party spokespersons on Monday that “civil-military relations are unprecedented these days”, Dawn newspaper reported.
Khan said that the relationship between his government and the military was “exceptional” and the Opposition’s narrative regarding a rift between them was “dead and buried”, the paper said. He had shared similar views during a meeting with a journalist last week, according to the paper.
When asked – in the context of rumours of a possible deal between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and military to send his government packing – whether he felt threatened from any quarters, Khan said he personally was not under any kind of pressure. He said that he enjoyed the support of government allies and expressed the confidence that his government would complete its mandated five years.
The powerful army, which has ruled Pakistan for more than half of its 70 plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy. A close aide to Khan told the paper after attending the meeting that he praised the military for swiftly rushing to the aid of those stranded in Murree and carrying out a rescue operation in the calamity-hit hill station.
Pakistan’s popular hill station Murree was declared a calamity-hit area on Saturday after at least 23 people, including nine children, froze to death in their stranded vehicles due to unprecedented snowfall and rush of tourists to the picturesque town in Punjab province. Khan said the number of tourists in the country had increased while the infrastructure was the same as it was several decades ago, stressing the need for improving facilities and constructing new hotels in tourist spots.
Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin also told the meeting about agreements made by the government with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). He also claimed that prices of food items were on the decline, according to the paper.