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Imran's political future dark if he ignores democratic path: Bilawal

'The vote of no confidence that took the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) chief out of office, was an institutional and democratic milestone'

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

IANS Islamabad
Pakistan Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that former Prime Minister Imran Khan may not have any political future if he continues to ignore the democratic path and seek support of the military establishment.
In an interview, Bilawal said: "Pakistan has had a history that is not hidden to anyone. We have had more than half the time of our country's history under direct military rule and various transitions in between; at the moment, I believe Pakistan is in a period of transition and absolutely it could go either way.
"It could mean a success in strengthening of the democratic forces or it could mean a success and a strengthening of unconstitutional undemocratic forces."
He went on to say that Khan may create narrative of a foreign conspiracy behind his ouster from power, but the fact is that his government was ousted through a strategy to table a no-confidence motion in Parliament, which was a brainchild of Bilawal himself as he wanted to use democratic means to topple the former premier.
"The vote of no confidence that took the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) chief out of office, was an institutional and democratic milestone," the Foreign Minister said.
"You might not like the result of the vote of no confidence if you are from his party. But in the course of Pakistan's history, this is a fundamental achievement that a military man has not come in and pulled out the Prime Minister of a court has not ordered for them to go. The democratic process has been followed."
Bilawal said that Khan's ouster and former army chief General (retd) Qamar Jawed Bajwa's pledge of neutrality on behalf of the military establishment as an institution, were by far the two most significant ones that have now put the country's democratic process into a state of transition.
"The former army chief stood up and gave a speech in his uniform where he accepted that in he past the military used to intervene in politics and that that is not good, neither for the institution and nor for the country and they would like to transition away from that, was a noteworthy development," he maintained.
Bilawal said that the new stand of military establishment to remain neutral and apolitical is something that should not only be appreciated but should also be supported by political parties to carry forward democracy.
He however, highlighted that Khan still persists on resting his political future on the shoulders of the military establishment, who he demands to bring him back into power because this is the only way he has lived through every step of his political career.
"This has been my message to Mr. Khan ever since he was prime minister or when he was leaving office and up until this day. Imran Khan most certainly will have a future in politics if he strives to pursue the democratic path.
"Mr. Khan needs to change his protest from calling on military establishment to come and intervene in politics to everybody committing to play a constitutional role in politics. Otherwise, Imran Khan's name would be lost to history like many before him," Bilawal added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 21 2023 | 1:19 PM IST

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