LAHORE: Former premier and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Friday sparked controversy by calling for trial of former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for violating the government’s foreign policy and delivering an anti-Russia speech last year.
Speaking to journalists in Lahore on Friday, Imran also accused the country’s establishment of having no understanding of politics and claimed that Bajwa had “stabbed” him in the back by condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The former PM was referring to a speech delivered by Bajwa at the Islamabad Security Dialogue in November of last year.
In his speech, Bajwa had criticised Russia’s actions, stating that its invasion of Ukraine must be “stopped immediately”. “Despite legitimate security concerns of Russia, its aggression against a smaller country cannot be condoned,” Bajwa had remarked.
The former prime minister has been highly critical of former military chief Gen Bajwa ever since he was ousted from power last year, accusing him of being responsible for the country’s current predicament.
Imran has claimed that Gen (retd) Bajwa used to call the shots, while he, as the prime minister, was at the receiving end of all the criticism. “He was a super king. He was above everyone. He was controlling NAB [National Accountability Bureau (NAB)] and no one could be held accountable without Bajwa’s nod.”
“I was the punching bag while they [the establishment] had the absolute power. Bajwa took credit of all good things, while we were blamed for everything that went wrong,” he said.
“The money laundering case against [Prime Minister] Shehbaz Sharif could not proceed because Bajwa did not want it to,” he said.
Referring to a recent article based on the former army chief’s interview, Imran had said everyone already knew that the former army chief had toppled his government but “I did not expect that he would have admitted to this”.
‘Ready to talk to new army chief’
Imran during the media interaction also stated that he was ready to talk with the current army chief, General Syed Asim Munir, for the betterment of the country but only if some officials be removed. However, Khan added that it seemed that Munir considered him an ‘enemy’.
“I have no rifts with the establishment. If someone thinks that I will kneel down then it will not happen. No one is willing to talk so what should I do?” he was quoted as saying.
Speaking about slew of cases against him, Imran dared the government to prove a single corruption charge against him and his wife Bushra Bibi. Imran said that the general elections should be held across the country simultaneously to cut polls expenditure.
He also vowed to win all elections despite “PDM umpires” and added that overseas Pakistanis are also supporting the PTI. Reiterating his claim of life threats to his life, the former premier said that he has recorded a video message regarding the threats to his life which is present in a foreign country.
Imran also revealed that he decided against travelling to Islamabad by plane for court hearings as he was informed that the government wanted to arrest him from the airport and take him to Balochistan.
“I am facing threat from those who are supposed to protect me,” he alleged.
The ex-PM also disclosed that he is still in touch with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman despite negative propaganda by the PDM regime.__Pakistan Today