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Some elements in the establishment still want to see Imran Khan as Prime Minister: Achakzai

ISLAMABAD: Mahmoud Achakzai, leader of the Tehreek-e-Tahaffuz-e-Aaein Pakistan, has claimed that certain elements within the establishment want Imran Khan as Prime Minister, but Khan himself is not interested in the position.

In an interview on the news program “Spot Light,” Achakzai stated that he believes over 50% of the establishment is unhappy with the current political situation. He also criticized the treatment of Khan, saying that if Shehbaz Sharif is truly a statesman, he should release Khan from custody. “Where is Imran Khan going to run away to?” Achakzai questioned.

He further criticized the military’s approach to dissent, stating that their training dictates that anyone opposing them is an enemy. “When you take off your uniform, you become a normal person,” he said.

Achakzai described his movement as an “SOS message,” emphasizing that he is not accusing any specific institution or individual. He called for a united front, stating that “a good mechanic puts all the parts together, and we need to bring all the parties together.”

He acknowledged Imran Khan’s popularity, stating that despite his flaws, he remains the most popular leader in the country. Achakzai also expressed doubt that Khan would accept support from the establishment, believing such a move would be detrimental to his own political standing.

Regarding the current political situation, Achakzai urged Shehbaz Sharif to release Imran Khan, suggesting that a committee formed by Nawaz Sharif, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could help resolve the crisis.

Achakzai criticized the military’s involvement in politics, stating that the establishment should be persuaded to withdraw from political affairs through constitutional means to pave the way for dialogue.

He also criticized the current government’s investment policies, arguing that no one would invest in a country where individuals like Malik Riaz are harassed. He expressed concern over the lack of transparency and accountability in the current government, highlighting the alleged involvement of government officials with the Taliban during Khan’s tenure.

Achakzai called on the judiciary to ensure justice for ordinary citizens who have been subjected to military courts, and urged the police to act with restraint and professionalism.

He warned that their current actions, including harassment and intimidation of lawyers and political opponents, are fueling unrest and could lead to civil war.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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