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‘Pak army may change the PM’

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Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa met the Chief of People's Liberation Army Chaina Han Weiguo in Beijing (File)

Experts say Pak army is unhappy with Imran Khan over handling of economy. Bajwa would not go for a coup, “but he will like to change the PM.”

Imran Khan. (File Photo: IANS) by .
Imran Khan. (File Photo: IANS)

Pakistan’s Army chief, Gen Qamar Bajwa’s meeting with industry leaders should come as no surprise as the Pakistan Army is a major “corporate entity”, but it is also a signal that the army is unhappy with Imran Khan over his handling of the economy and could choose to replace him, say experts.

To reports of Army chief Bajwa holding secret meetings with corporate leaders, besides the roundtable he held with business leaders in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, experts said that the Pakistan Army has deep business interests spread across the country, ranging from real estate, to sugar, oil, cement, aviation, and many more.

Asked if he thought it was a signal for a military takeover, former diplomat Vivek Katju said that he did not want to speculate about a coup. “But the Pakistan Army is an economic actor, it is a corporate entity and has enormous business interests, ranging from owning a bank, to a fertiliser company and also in aviation.”

According to reports, in 2016, the Pakistan Senate was informed that the army’s commercial wings, the Fauji (Army) Foundation, the Shaheen Foundation, the Bahria Foundation, the Army Welfare Trust and the Defense Housing Authorities, owned around 50 business concerns and housing property worth over $20 billion. In three years, the number increased to hundreds of businesses with net investment reportedly exceeding $100 billion.

Former diplomat G. Parthasarathy said that this move by the Pakistan Army “was coming” as Imran Khan had appointed Bajwa on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Matters, and “Imran himself is a creature of the army”.

“The army runs an empire within the state. They are in a big way into real estate, sugar, and oil, and run the largest National Logistics Cell and are into building roads and infrastructure. They get preferential treatment in their business, and thus it irks the civilians,” said Parthasarathy.

“What does the military know about business, the only business they enact is at the cost of taxes of ordinary men. The Pakistan Army has never won a war, and has lost half the country (Bangladesh),” he added.

Security expert and Pakistan watcher Jai Kumar Verma said that the meeting with the business honchos came as Pakistan is in great turmoil, as it is the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force which is making Pakistan lose $10 billion a year, according to an analysis by its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“They want to come out of the grey list, and if they remain in it then the IMF’s $6 billion loan too will be in jeopardy,” Verma told IANS.

“It is a difficult scenario, the economy is not coming up as they want, and chances are that Bajwa who has given a three-year extension to himself may like to change the PM.

Pakistan's state-run news channel PTV ran "Begging" dateline instead of "Beijing" on screen during the live broadcast of Prime Minister Imran Khan's speech in China and became a target of trolling by netizens. by .
Pakistan’s state-run news channel PTV ran “Begging” dateline instead of “Beijing” on screen during the live broadcast of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech in China and became a target of trolling by netizens.

“There are also rumors that the army may take over, as the situation is serious. But in my analysis the army will not take over, as they are the de facto rulers. They may not be the de jure rulers, but they are the de facto rulers, so then why should they stick their neck out?”

Verma said that Bajwa would not go for a coup, “but he will like to change the PM”.

In addition, the statements that Imran Khan has been making “are not up to the PM-level”, he said, referring to Imran Khan talking in terms of jihad in his UNGA speech, and asking people to march to the Line of Control, when he himself was in Islamabad.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Again indians propaganda machine at works, This asia news also has been contaminated with modi fake news.
    When will these people learn that you just can not sweep the truth under the carpet by deviating with false subject.
    There is a danger that these culprits will eventually lead to the devastation which the world is trying to avoid.

    • Please Justify The Army Cheif of a Country holding direct meetings with business committee and not adhering to the mandate given to him by the constitution when you play bad you are portrayed bad..

  2. A fact well known. Why are Pakistani politicians unable to bring the army under the democratic civilian rule. The country since birth never enjoyed full democracy. Coup after coup with elected leaders end up in jail. Who enjoy life in pak8syan definitely not the people, not the democrtically elected leaders but the army, ISI, China and certainly the global terrorists. Army in Pakistan rules but terrorists call the shots. India and Afghanistan are the victims and peace in the region has become a distant dream. Finally the country for the army is realuzed with its people enslaved to a military regime. When an army of a country begins to manages the country’s finances and invest a major part of it to create an economy within an economy, it is a dangerous trend that will bring in doom not bloom, eventually destroying the foundation of economic.infrastruxtures. strangely, the people are either too frighten to speekup or they are willing to be the slaves of the army throughout, is not very much clear. All businessess and the men and women eventually have to surrender their enterprises to the army or pay major portions of proceed to the army that is heading towards amulating a North Korean module regime, where freedom will be a dead word and only select elite to enjoy the fruits. Why are the pakistanis so clumsy, unable to read the possible eventualities and fathom their future from the emerging events in their country. Kashmir will only be a boggy to deceive the world. Afghanistan will be Talibanized to blackmsil the world.for more funds. Finally the region is in the grip of an army that does not like peace and has a strong will for an allout conflict devastating the entire region. I do hope the the.global community reads the unfolding and dangerous events.

  3. Come on all Indian experts saying this this means indains are still hurting by Imran Khan the lions un speech, for all non Muslim Indians keep dreaming

  4. If Pakistan Army has never won a war, why didn’t the Indian Army entered Lahore for breakfast in 1965?
    How Abhinandan came in a fighter jet and beaten by the civilians in Pakistan ?
    What 900,000 army troops are doing in Kashmir?
    Why India was crying in Kargil?
    Listen oh cow’s urine drinker!
    Pak Army is number one in the world which you can’t digest.

  5. Rumours and nonsense speculations…..The Pakistan army has developed into a professional entity specially after 9/11.To believe that Pakistan army is willing to see Imran khan the premier changed is illogical and a mere wish …and a wish is never a fish that can be caught and fried .Meetings with the Industrialists has little or no bearing on the myth so coined.Why the economy of the country in such a dismal condition is a subject of vast and multidimensional facets .So the post is fallacious and a pack of lies .

  6. THIS IS NOT A ANALYSIS BUT THEIR WISHES WHICH WILL BE A DREAM NEVER COME TRUE THERE WAS NO SECRET MEETING AND EVERYTHING WAS OPEN TO GOVERNMENT IMRAN WILL STAY ON YOUR HEAD KEEP ON HOWLING

  7. One wise man said – a normal and rantional thinking country needs army but in Pakistan army needs country!! The analysis is on the spot. It is a matter of time when Im the sim will be replaced by another selected PM.

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