Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday claimed that former chief of army staff (COAS) General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “setup is still working in the establishment”.
During an interaction with journalists in Lahore, Imran, without naming the army chief, said, “In Pakistan, the establishment is the name of one person.” The former premier, who was removed from power through a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly in April last year, said the former army chief did not want accountability in the county, hence his relations with Gen (r) Bajwa turned worsened.
Referring to a question, he said Gen (r) Bajwa was expressing solidarity with him after stabbing him in the back.
Recalling his last meeting with the former army chief, he said Gen Bajwa termed him a “playboy”, adding that he replied, “Yes, I had been a playboy.” The former army chief was against the rule of law in the country, he also alleged.
Imran accused Gen (r) Bajwa of hiring the services of Husain Haqqani, former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, for lobbying in the US.
Haqqani was accused of seeking US action against Pakistan’s military through the so-called memo months after the US raid in Abbottabad in 2011 on Osama Bin Laden’s compound amid an increasing rift between the civilian and military leadership. He was accused of issuing visas to Americans without due process, bypassing relevant authorities, and embezzling funds.
Imran also said Haqqani launched a campaign against him and had been promoting the former army chief in the US.
Turning his guns towards former president and ex-army chief Pervez Musharraf, Imran said he made dollars by “selling terrorism”. “Dollars can be obtained by selling terrorism,” the ousted premier added. However, 80,000 people lost their lives due to Musharraf’s actions, he added.
“The country will only progress when the army and all political parties will be on the same page,” Imran said. The military operation, he went on to say, is not the solution to any issue, adding that he always raised his voice against operations in Waziristan.
Talking about the prevailing political crisis in the county, he reiterated that the PTI would not return to the National Assembly, as “it will be a fruitless practice”.
Lashing out at the establishment yet again, he said that three of their lawmakers were asked to remain neutral during the vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly. Stressing the need for free and fair elections, the PTI chief said that transparent elections would bring stability to the country. He also slammed the “game of audio leaks” in the country.