PM Shehbaz will make decision regarding appointment of new army chief in November: Khawaja Asif
Says Imran Khan just wants to make the army chief’s appointment controversial
Says Russia has shown willingness to export wheat, gas & oil to Pakistan
Says Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his wish to resume CPEC project with the ‘same efficiency and passion’’
Says PM Shehbaz will visit China in the first week of November on the invitation of Chinese President
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Saturday said that besides gas and oil, Russia had also offered to provide wheat to Pakistan in the wake of catastrophic floods and keeping in view the possibility of food shortages that may occur in the aftermath of deluges. He said Russia has shown willingness to export wheat, gas and oil to Pakistan. He said that law should be applied in same way against Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and others.
“Russia has said that it can provide us wheat because in the coming days we may have shortages […],” he revealed at a press conference in Islamabad. “They have said that they can give us gas. Russia said that they have gas pipelines in Central Asian countries and the pipelines could be extended to Pakistan via Afghanistan. These talks have taken place,” he elaborated.
The minister said that Russian President Putin also appreciated Pakistan’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war in the United Nations (UN) and internationally.
Talking about the meeting with the Chinese president, Khawaja Asif said that Xi Jinping expressed his wish to resume the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project with the “same efficiency and passion”.
“To Pakistan, he said that we are all-weather strategic friends and offered unconditionally to help the country in every situation,” he added.
In response to a question, Khawaja Asif said that the policy regarding the army chief’s appointment — which is due in November this year — was clearly defined in the Constitution that whosoever will be the prime minister and with the Blessings of Almighty Allah in November Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif will make decision regarding the matter. He said that Imran Khan has desire in this regarding but Almighty Allah gives respect to someone and takes back respect from someone. “Nawaz Sharif has fulfilled this constitutional responsibility four times and Shehbaz Sharif will fulfill the same responsibility in upcoming November.”
He said that the matter has come into the limelight in a way that had never happened before in the country’s history and blamed PTI Chief Imran Khan for it. He said Imran Khan has negative contribution in this matter. “He just wants to make the army chief’s appointment controversial,” he said, adding that no one had any doubt about the loyalty of the head of the army to the Constitution and the institutions. “Politics is separate but institutions should not be made controversial.”
Khawaja Asif also said that Imran’s statements in recent days were against the country’s national security, stressing that action should be taken against them. “Imran Khan will not hesitate harming Pakistan for his personal rule” he said. He said that Imran Khan believes in term that he himself will not play and will also not allow anyone else to play. He said that Imran Khan could not see PDM securing any success for the masses of Pakistan.
He then went on to say that the country was going through difficult times and such a situation called for politics to be “kept aside”.
“For the sake of Pakistan, ego or politics never comes in the way. Today, there is pressure on the economy […] In such a situation, if there needs to be a time out in politics, then there can be talks for that.”
However, he contended, “Imran Khan never talks about the floods […] He just wants his government back”. The minister added that the destruction caused by floods in South Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was massive, yet “we can’t see [any] commitment from the PTI anywhere”.
Khawaja Asif said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will visit China in the first week of November on the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said the invitation was extended by the Chinese President to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif during a meeting in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on the sidelines of SCO meeting.
He said Russian President Vladimir Putin has also invited the Prime Minister to visit Moscow and this visit will also take place after PM Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China.
The Defence Minister said the Chinese President, during his meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, recognized him as an efficient and pragmatic leader, and expressed the commitment to vigorously take forward the CPEC project. He said Xi Jinping described Pakistan as an all-weather strategic friend. The Defence Minister said the SCO members have expressed readiness to support and cooperate with Pakistan faced with the unprecedented floods.
He said that the situation of today is better than the situation of country when came into power five or six month ago, adding that after improvement in the situation the inflation will also come down and people will be given relief regarding prices of the commodities.
He said that all the SCO countries remembered Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during the meetings with Mian Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and sent well wishes for him.
He said that the goodwill of the international community could be judged from this fact that 10 leaders of the world held meetings with PM Shehbaz Sharif during SCO meeting. He said that IMF and World Bank have restarted their programs, adding that secretary general United Nations have become the spokesperson of Pakistan after the floods.
Khawaja Asif after attending the last religious rituals of Queen Elizabeth, PM Shehbaz Sharif will leave for United States of America to attend the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.