LAHORE: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that the announcement regarding dissolution of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab Assemblies had, without naming anyone, exposed many people.
“Pakistan cannot develop and prosper without eliminating corruption and mafia, which are the reason behind all crises prevailing in the country.”
PTI Chairman Imran Khan made the remarks during a meeting with a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) here at residence at Zaman Park on Sunday.
Speaking on the occasion, Imran Khan said that if elections are not held in next 90 days after assemblies’ dissolution, it means no one is ‘neutral’. “The announcement of dissolving Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Punjab Assemblies has exposed many people,” he said, without naming anyone.
“I don’t understand what happened to General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa”, he said, adding that he told Gen Bajwa that if they held 10-12 powerful corrupt people, everything would get better.
“We had a good relationship with Gen Bajwa, but I don’t know what happened then”, the former premier added. He noted that the dissolution of assemblies would force elections in 66% of Pakistan and the government would latch on.
The PTI chief further said that it would be a gross violation of Constitution if elections are not held in the stipulated period.
He regretted that mafia exists in every institution, reiterating that Pakistan cannot develop without eliminating corruption and mafia.
Imran said that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir himself has said that he will remain neutral. However, he added that holding elections within three months after the dissolution of assemblies will the biggest test of his neutrality.
He said that when Lt-Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed was removed as DG ISI, it became obvious that a plan has been hatched to topple the PTI government. “I told Gen Bajwa that if the plan to topple the government succeeds, no one will be able to manage the country’s economy,” he added.
The former prime minister said that he explained to the former army chief how Shehbaz could be considered for the prime minister’s post as he was named in Rs16 billion worth of corruption cases. However, he added, he later came to know that corruption was not an issue for General (retd) Bajwa.
“Gen Bajwa used to say that Aleem Khan should be made the [Punjab] chief minister. I found out about his illegal possession so I said how he can be made chief minister,” he said.
Imran said that Pakistan’s economy would have performed even better if there wasn’t a coronavirus pandemic and China was not locked down for two years.
Economy of the country is on a decline and income of people is low then how can loans be returned in this situation, he questioned. “A country cannot prosper if there is no rule of law,” he added.
Imran said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was formed in 1999 but it should be questioned whether corruption increased or decreased since then.
“We had a decent relation with Gen Bajwa but I don’t know what happened later.”
Talking about the Toshakhana case, the PTI chief said that if there was corruption during his tenure, then the opponents would have raised it rather than highlighting the Toshakhana issue only.
“Toshakhana is not a museum. If I had not bought the watch it would have been bought by someone else during an auction,” he said, adding that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari too bought expensive cars from Toshakhana.
The former prime minister further said that he will not form a weak government this time as it is unable to produce results.__Pakistan Today