Imran posts with ‘fall of Dhaka’ parallels rile army

ISLAMABAD: The tussle between Pakistan’s most popular politician, jailed ex-PM Imran Khan, and the head of its most powerful institution, Army Chief General Asim Munir, has intensified after the former owned up anti-military posts in which the country’s current political situation was compared to the 1971 fall of Dhaka.
The posts were uploaded by Imran’s social media team last week on his X account with a video comparing the past and present military leaderships and a statement urging people to study a judicial commission report on Pakistan’s breakup.The uploads also included pictures of Pakistan’s current civilian and military leaderships and alleged they stole the mandate of the Imran-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in general elections this Feb.
“Every Pakistani should study the Hamoodur Rahman Commission Report and get to know who was the true traitor, General Yahya Khan or Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” said a quote attributed to Imran.
The commission had probed Pakistan’s political-military involvement in East-Pakistan — current-day Bangladesh — from 1947 to 1971. The video referred to purported crimes by the Pakistani military during the civil war in East Pakistan and claimed former military dictator General Yahya was responsible.
Strong backlash followed the posts, especially from government ranks who called it “alarming” and accused PTI of fuelling a narrative of “hatred and incitement” by drawing comparisons between Imran and Mujib.
On Friday, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) officials visited the prison where Imran has been kept to quiz him over the post but he refused to meet them without lawyers. FIA has sent a notice to Imran on the matter.
This was followed by a meeting of army commanders, which vowed to defeat what it termed “digital terrorism” by trying to induce despondency and sowing discord by peddling “blatant lies, fake news, and propaganda”. “The nation is fully cognisant of their ugly and ulterior motives and the designs of these nefarious forces,” General Munir was quoted army’s media wing as saying.
Imran’s PTI had until recently been trying to disassociate itself from the controversial posts but “owned” them on his directions. A meeting of PTI’s core committee was held on Friday. “Hamoodur Rehman Commission Report must be made public to avoid 1971 like grave challenges, learn a lesson from the past and apprise the people about what exactly happened in 1971,” PTI said in a statement after the meeting.
The statement then sought to draw a parallel between 1970 and the current situation in Pakistan. “In 1971 debacle, the most important aspect was rejection of the people’s mandate, which is also presently prevailing in the country,” PTI said.


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