Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed to have intelligence on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, alleging that former ambassador to the United States (US) Hussain Haqqani was “running Nawaz’s communication strategy”.

Speaking to a private media outlet on Thursday, the premier was referring to the former PM’s recent speeches in public meetings of his party and the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) during which he had accused the army establishment of orchestrating his ouster.

Nawaz had gone on to name the Army and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chiefs and said that there was “a state above the state”.

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Reacting to his political rival’s statements, Imran on Thursday accused Nawaz of trying to create rifts within the armed forces by encouraging army personnel to “rebel against” the military leadership.

“When they say that the [military leadership] is bad and the rest of the army is good; is army a democratic party that would move a no-confidence motion? You [Nawaz] are telling the army to launch a coup, to rebel [against the leadership]. Can there be a bigger [form of] treason?”

When asked if the government would take up a treason case against Nawaz, the premier did not give a clear answer and said, “Treason cases are hard to prove.”

He said that he had information on Nawaz’s activities but added that “court cases cannot be filed on agencies’ reports”.

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“A person who is sitting outside in a Mayfair luxury flat bought with stolen money is telling the army [personnel] to rebel. He is also trying to drive a wedge in the judiciary by taking the name of one judge saying he is good while another, who was a chief justice and gave the Panama judgement against him, was a bad judge.”

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“Imran Khan is a Bollywood villain but Nawaz is a democrat. The person who grew up in Ziaul Haq’s lap is a democrat today, while Imran Khan who started his party from scratch, who mobilised people to come to power is an army puppet!”

“Nawaz Sharif suits India, not Imran Khan.”