Aleem Khan, the disgruntled Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and once a close confidant of Prime Minister Imran Khan, on Monday launched a broadside at his former leader, saying he (PM) was insincere to the nation.
Aleem Khan had developed differences with his party ever since the PTI came into power in 2018.
He believed that he was sidelined by the prime minister. After observing silence for some years, Aleem Khan started making headlines again after he joined the opposition in Punjab.
“I feel regret that I dedicated 10 years of my life to the party. I supported the PTI with great loyalty and hard work. We thought that there would be a Naya Pakistan but we failed,” he said dejectedly during a hard-hitting press conference in Lahore.
The criticism revolved around a number of issues, mainly from the selection of Usman Buzdar as the Punjab CM in 2018 to the nomination of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Parvez Elahi for the same slot.
He claimed that the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was used against him soon after the 2018 elections.
“I am being branded a traitor but it is a matter of fact that there is no one in the party who has given more sacrifices than me,” he said and challenged the prime minister to bring any evidence of corruption against him in front of the nation.
“Why wasn’t a reference filed against me? What proof do you have? Bring it in on… and tell the nation that these were Aleem Khan’s misdoings and corruption,” he said. “I promise that if I turn out to be lying then I will shoot myself,” he added.
Aleem Khan was also put behind the bars and he used to attend the Punjab Assembly sessions on production orders.
The PTI dissident accused Usman Buzdar of taking bribe for transfers and postings in Punjab. He also accused Farah Khan, a close friend of the first lady, of being complicit in such postings.
He said any investigation would uncover who she (Farah) was transferring money of her alleged corruption to, while responding to a question about whether the first lady was also involved in supporting Farah.
He asked the prime minister whether it was treacherous that he “met a US ambassador at the premier’s residence”.
However, he did not mention when the meeting took place.
Aleem referred to the meeting only after Imran Khan revealed that the US official who sent the “threat letter” was Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu.
He also criticised the prime minister for Sunday’s dissolution of the National Assembly as well, questioning what had stopped him from doing so before. He said that the premier could not dissolve the assemblies once a no-confidence resolution was submitted against him.