LAHORE: Former prime minister Imran Khan has called for an internal military inquiry against former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa for his alleged “admission” about being involved in the PTI government’s ouster, Dawn.com reported.
In an interview with Voice of America Urdu aired on Friday, Mr Khan said: “The PML-N, PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement) and the establishment are all standing on one side … they all together removed our government and Gen Bajwa has admitted to the regime change since he has given his statement to a journalist about for what reasons the government was removed.”
Mr Khan claimed that policies set in place by the former army chief were still continuing. He was referring to Gen Bajwa’s remarks published in a column by Javed Chaudhry from a day ago in his interview.
According to the column, Gen Bajwa said his “crime” was not stepping in to save Imran’s government. He was also quoted as saying that “these people (the PTI) were dangerous for the country”.
Fawad wonders how an army chief could advise the State Bank governor and finance minister about ways to manage economy
A statement by former army chief conceding that he was instrumental in the ouster of the PTI-led government, was “unacceptable and needs to be discussed for future action”, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry told media persons outside Mr Khan’s Zaman Park residence.
Mr Chaudhry said “another confession” by the retired general, reported in the column, had “compromised the country’s sovereignty” as he stated the “regime change” was brought about to “appease foreign forces”.
“Gen Bajwa’s confessions have also exposed the legitimacy of the PDM government,” he added.
The PTI leader said the newspaper column had ‘revealed’ that Gen Bajwa was involved in getting Nawaz Sharif absolved in all his cases.
“Courts are being influenced and told what to do and what not to do,” he alleged.
Referring to Gen Bajwa’s claim, reported in the column, that former finance minister Shaukat Tarin’s NAB case was closed on his instruction, the PTI leader said it was a “serious and blatant intervention” in the judicial system.
Mr Chaudhry wondered how an army chief could advise the State Bank governor and the finance minister about ways to manage the economy.
Referring to UAE President Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s decision not to visit Islamabad after landing in Rahim Yar Khan, the PTI leader said one can understand the “level of appeasement of foreign forces”.
He claimed the Turkish government had stopped Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari from visiting the country. He said the PTI wanted friendly relations with all countries, including the US, Saudi Arabia, Turkiye, the UAE and China. “But no country, friendly or otherwise, can dictate to Pakistan which government it needs to have.”
“Everyone can now see the economic progress made over the past 10 months,” he said wryly.
The PTI leader went on to claim the economy was making rapid strides “under the stewardship of Imran Khan”.
The growth rate had shot up to six per cent, the large-scale manufacturing sector was growing at 10 per cent, some 5.5 million jobs were created and the per capita income was rising fast, he added.
“A growing economy was stopped in its tracks and the government toppled on the back of a mere allegation that the economy was not running well.”
Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2023