Cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan has said he will insist on civilian supremacy over Pakistan's powerful military if his party comes to power and would rather resign if the army and the ISI did not function under him if he becomes Prime Minister.
Days after his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf party stunned its opponents by drawing a mammoth crowd during a rally in Lahore, Khan said that if he becomes the Prime Minister after the next election, he would press for civilian supremacy over the army and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency so that he could implement his agenda.
"Unless I can implement my agenda – which means I take responsibility for everything that's happening in Pakistan, it means that the army is under me, it means the ISI can do nothing unless it reports to me, it means that the army's budget is audited by a civilian set-up, it means I take responsibility for anything that's happening outside my country, it means I take responsibility that no terrorism will take place from Pakistani soil – otherwise, I would resign," he told Karan Thapar in an interview for CNN-IBN's Devil's Advocate programme.
58-year-old Khan was responding to a question on whether he would challenge army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the Corps Commanders and insist on civilian supremacy.
Asked specifically if he would be Gen Kayani's boss if he became the premier, Khan replied: "100%. I have never, ever been controlled by anyone. (If) people give me the mandate to be the Prime Minister and I'll not be someone's puppet – people know me for 35 years. I've never been controlled by anyone."