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Tension surges between Imran Khan and Pak army chief

Tension surges between Imran Khan and Pak army chief

Islamabad: Reports have emerged of a growing tension between Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, as Lt General Nadeem Anjum, backed by Bajwa, takes the office of Director General (DG), ISI. The move has occured allegedly against Khan's wishes of retaining incumbent DG Lt General Faiz Hameed. General Anjum is presently Karachi Corps Commander, and General Hameed has been posted as Peshawar Corps Commander.

In addition to the tensions with Bajwa, Khan is in a shrinking political space as the economy deteriorates through high debt and inflation. He has also faced reprimand from Chief Justice of Pakistan, Gulzar Ahmed who has censured him for seeking a peace deal with Tehreej-e-Taliban, a terrorist group linked to the Sirajuddin Haqqani network. The Pakistan administration had virtually surrendered to the demands of Barelvi Tehreek-e-Labbaik marchers by lifting the ban on the extremist group and releasing its jailed leaders earlier this month.

According to analysts, Pakistan is on tenterhooks at the moment as all the major generals in ISI are already reporting to Gen Nadeem Anjum. An expert said that there are unverified reports that 111 Rawalpindi brigade is also on standby to tackle the worst-case scenario as tensions rise. Also, reports are that coalition partners of the Tehreek-e-Insaaf government like MQM and PML-Q are looking for other political options.

The removal of Gen Hameed by Gen Bajwa stemmed out of the former's proximity to the Taliban regime in Kabul, particularly the Haqqani network. While PM Khan wishes Afghanistan to add to Pakistan's strategy against India, Gen Bajwa is set against the Taliban's toxic ideology as it could harm Pakistan. Bajwa is opposed to the radical extremism of the Taliban.

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TAGS:pakistanTalibanControversyImran Khan govtArmyISI
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