Alvi not sure of ‘foreign conspiracy’, but calls for probe

President says there should be wider consultation on army chief appointment

President Dr Arif Alvi has expressed dissatisfaction over the “American conspiracy” narrative related to the removal of his party chairman Imran Khan’s government through a parliamentary no-trust vote and stressed that the matter should be fully investigated.

In an interview to a private channel on Monday, the president said, “I am convinced that there should be an investigation, but I do not agree that there was a conspiracy.”

Dr Alvi said that he requested the Supreme Court to take into account the evidence of the incident while taking up the matter.

In response to a question, he said that Imran Khan was very disappointed with the manner in which his government was ousted.

When asked about the party’s decision regarding resignations from the National Assembly, Alvi said that if he had been consulted, he could have given a “different advice”.

President Alvi in response to a question regarding the appointment of the army chief said that constitutional procedures should be followed in the appointment of the next chief of the army staff. He said that there should be consultation on this matter and it is desired that the summary of the appointment of the army chief should reach him after due diligence.

Dr Alvi, who is also a senior PTI leader, said that there is a consultation going on in London regarding the appointment of the army chief and he learned about it through the newspaper. “I want that there should be a wider consultation,” he maintained.

When asked whether he play his role to bridge gaps between the PDM government and the PTI, Alvi said that he was impartial as the president and his affiliation with the former ruling party was a thing of the past. “The PTI is my past… it is a very good past,” he added.

He reiterated his resolve to address several problems prevailing in the country. “A maverick alone cannot solve all the issues, but a president can make efforts to bridge the gulf,” he maintained.

Commenting on PTI’s forthcoming long march on Islamabad and military’s possible role in this regard, Alvi said the military had a constitutional role to play, adding that the army must remain “neutral” with regards to the country politics.

He called upon the parties across the spectrum to sit together and resolve issues related to the economy and elections in a bid to end political polarisation in the country.

He said dialogue was necessary for settling political issues between the government and the opposition, and the parliament was a suitable place for negotiations, but the same could also be held outside of it.

To a question, Dr Alvi said Article 6 could only be applied to those who either abrogated the Constitution or held it in abeyance with the use of force.

He said he had been criticising the successive governments over the issues of press freedom and the weakening economy, and his criticism was not limited to the incumbent government.

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