‘I had advised Imran Khan to have good terms with army’: Sheikh Rashid claims after resurfacing from ‘Chilla’

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Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed claimed that he had advised his ally, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on having “good terms” with the army during his government, as the former federal minister resurfaces after a month of disappearance on Friday.

“Even today, I stand with the army. I always suggested the PTI chairman as well that one should keep good terms with the army,” Rashid said while speaking to a private news channel.

The former federal minister came to the fore a day after the Lahore High Court (LHC) gave the police the target time till October 26 to recover the senior politician, whose whereabouts hadn’t been traced since his arrest last month.

Rashid was arrested from Rawalpindi on September 17, his counsel Sardar Abdul Razaq revealed on the same day.

The former security czar revealed that he had been on a chilla (apparently spending time underground) for the last 40 days.

While referring to his nephew, he said that Rashid Shafique is like his son so he informed him that he is done with the thought process now.

“I couldn’t tell Rashid [Shafique about the chilla] that’s why he might have gotten worried,” the AML chief said. He added that these 40 days were spent well.

Khan’s close ally also said that he had the opportunity to reflect on many things during the chilla in this age. No one caused any harm during this period, he insisted.

Talking about the May 9 mayhem, the former federal minister said that he was outside the country during the incidents of violence that followed Khan’s arrest.

He then sought pardon for the “commoners” involved in the May 9 incidents.

Rashid said that no politician should take the names of any army officer, adding that all the three people who were holding talks with the army for the PTI chief had made their own party.

“I am not point scoring, I have spent time in the chilla, but the country cannot function without the institutions,” he said, adding that the politicians and the institutions should work together.

The AML leader further said that he requested Khan to include him in the parleys with the army but the former prime minister, who was removed from power via parliamentary vote in April last year, refused.

Rashid said that he had suggested to the PTI that they should not engage in a dispute with the establishment.

“The PTI chairman is a stubborn politician,” he said, admitting that messing with Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir was their mistake.

He said that followers of the PTI chairman believe that they have supporters inside the army.

“Twitter drowned me. I was shown that I have said these things,” Rashid said, adding that he didn’t run the account on the microblogging site — now known as X — but all of the statements were his own.

He said that nothing came out against him except for tweets.

Khan’s aide also said that he would contest the elections but “God knows” if he will get the required support or not.

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