Pak Senate lambasts Imran Khan’s PTI for ‘anti-army’ campaign

The issue of social media platforms getting flooded with trends against Pakistan Army, the Army chief and armed forces was addressed in Pakistan’s Upper House (Senate), where both the Opposition and the government benches hurled strong accusations agaist each other for working towards maligning the military establishment of the country.

During the heated debate, treasury benches lashed out at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for deliberately running social media campaigns in which, dirty talks, abuses and shameful comments are hurled at the Pakistan Army chief and the military establishment.

On the other hand, the Opposition accused the government of trying to create a rift between the PTI and the military.

The debate surfaced after the Opposition Senators staged a walkout against the alleged torture of Shahbaz Gill, PTI Chief of Staff, who was arrested for making alleged seditious comments related to the military.

According to Gill, he was brutally tortured in jail by the police due to which his health condition deteriorated and he had to be shifted to the hospital under police custody.

The issue became a major point of argument in the Senate as both sides accused each other of deliberately targeting the country’s armed forces and the Army chief through malicious social media campaigns.

Questioning the special treatment given to PTI chairman Imran Khan, senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Sherry Rehman, said: “Other political leaders have compromised and spent years in jail. Asif Ali Zardari spent more than 11 years in jail, his sister Faryal Talpur was picked up in a military-grade vehicle in the middle of the night from the hospital like a terrorist. Maryam Nawaz too had a similar experience.”

Rehman also raised questions over the US-led regime change allegation of Imran Khan, stating that Khan’s party hired an American consulting firm, owned by former CIA station chief in Islamabad, to lobby and advise the party on Pak-US relations.

She said this was done at a time when Khan had already started his anti-US regime change narrative in public.

“PTI’s gross hypocrisy has been exposed even more acutely. They hired an American consulting firm, Grenier Consulting in 2021, which was run by a former CIA station chief in Islamabad, to lobby and advise the party on Pak-US relation.

“Remember, this was when the PTI was still in power while Imran Khan was making speeches against the US and slowly isolating Pakistan with its foreign policy in ruins,” Rehman said.

On the other hand, PTI leadership lashed out at the government for trying to create a rift between the PTI and the army.

Social media campaigns targeting Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Jawed Bajwa and the whole military establishment are going on since the time Khan was ousted from power. The campaigns and trending hashtags against the army have prompted the establishment and the government to crackdown on the people behind them.

Many arrests have already been made, and the government insists that anti-army sentiments have been injected into people’s minds by Khan.

The government parties have demanded that Khan should be arrested and put to trial on charges of sedition, which should also make way towards his disqualification.

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