Pakistan's powerful Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Wednesday asked his officers to "stay focused" on their professional duties and serve the nation, as he sought to boost their morale amidst frequent anti-establishment remarks by former premier Imran Khan. Bajwa's remarks came as he visited the Peshawar Corps Headquarters, weeks ahead of his possible retirement.

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military's media wing, said Bajwa while addressing the officers appreciated the "monumental efforts of the nation's martyrs" who he credited with achieving "peace and stability".

"We owe it to the sacrifices of our martyrs for providing us with safety and enabling a fertile environment for socio-economic development in newly merged districts in particular, and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in general," said Gen. Bajwa.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) also urged the officers to "always stay focused on your professional duties in the service of the nation".

Gen Bajwa, 61, is expected to retire on November 29 after getting a three-year extension when Khan was the prime minister.

Khan has been at the loggerheads with the Army for a few months after his ouster as the prime minister in April.

Khan, who was injured in an assassination bid on Thursday, alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of a sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by a religious extremist.

Khan, 70, suffered a bullet injury in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets in the Wazirabad area of Punjab province on Thursday, where he was leading a protest march against the Sharif government.

The powerful Army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75-plus years of existence, has hitherto wielded considerable power in matters of security and foreign policy.

Khan has repeated the names of three persons for their alleged involvement in the attack. He urged his followers to continue protests across the country until the three of them resigned.

The Pakistan Army on Saturday rejected as "baseless and irresponsible" the allegations made by Khan that one of its senior officers was among the people involved in the conspiracy to kill him.

When Imran Khan was in power, the opposition accused him of trying to bring an army chief of his choice who could support his alleged agenda of victimising opposition leaders.

Since he lost power in April this year, the equation has changed and now Khan is saying that the coalition government wants to install an Army head of its choice to protect looted wealth and steal general elections.

Last week, Khan had admitted that he offered an extension to the tenure of Army chief Bajwa in March amid the opposition's attempt to topple his government.

Bajwa, 61, who is on a three-year extension, is set to retire on November 29.

Khan also rejected as "untrue" claims made by Prime Minister Sharif that the opposition leader sent him a message expressing his desire to have a consultation over the appointment of the Army chief and elections.

Prime Minister Sharif had claimed that he has flatly rejected a proposal from his predecessor on the appointment of a successor to Army chief General Bajwa.

Khan also claimed the alleged custodial torture of his party leaders Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati for which he has been criticising the Army and demanding a probe.

Since he was ousted from power in April, the cricketer-turned-politician has repeatedly claimed that the no-trust motion against him was the result of a "foreign conspiracy".

Khan has since launched a political blitz calling for a snap election. He was leading a protest march against the government to press it for a snap election when he was injured in the assassination bid.

The government says an election will be held as scheduled in October next year.