Pakistani Army on Thursday rubbished former prime minister Imran Khan’s allegations raising doubts over the country’s capability to safeguard its nuclear assets. During a roadshow in Peshawar on Wednesday, Khan who was ousted after the recent no-confidence motion against his government, questioned whether Pakistan’s nuclear weapons were safe in the hands of what he called “robbers” and “thieves”, referring to the newly elected Shehbaz Sharif regime.
Meanwhile, addressing a press briefing today, Major General Babar Iftikhar, the Director-General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR)- the media wing of the Pakistan army- dismissed Khan’s allegations stating that Pakistan’s nuclear assets do not belong to just one individual. In an incendiary speech on Wednesday night, Imran Khan had said he wanted to ask the country’s establishment if the people who were brought to power as part of a “conspiracy” can safeguard the country’s nuclear program.
“The conspiracy under which these people were brought to power, I ask my institutions, is our nuclear program which is in their hands, can they protect it?” Khan said. The former Prime Minister has been claiming that his ouster was part of a foreign conspiracy hatched by the US, which furious over Khan’s Moscow visit on the eve of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had sought to remove Imran Khan so that it could “forgive” Pakistan. Addressing the US, Khan at the Peshawar rally said, “America, we don’t need your apology… who are you to forgive us? You are accustomed to these slaves, these Sharifs, these Zardaris.”
“Is the nuclear program safe in the hands of these robbers, whose money is outside?” Imran Khan further said. Addressing the country’s institutions again, he said, “Aren’t you putting the safety of Pakistanis in the hands of these thieves, have you no fear of God?” Pakistan Army has rubbished Khan’s allegations. “There is no such threat to our nuclear program and we should not bring it up in our political discussions,” DG-ISPIR, Gen Iftikhar said.
“Our program is at such a place that our command and control mechanism, asset security is one of the best in international evaluation,” he added. Meanwhile, Imran Khan in a tweet on Thursday thanked all those who attended his Peshawar rally to “reject the US-initiated regime change” in Pakistan. “Want to thank all those who came to our jalsa in Peshawar making it a mammoth & historic jalsa. The passion & commitment crowd showed in support of an indep sovereign Pak & their total rejection of US-initiated regime change bringing to power criminals, shows where nation stands,” Imran Khan said in a tweet.