LAHORE: Former prime minister Imran Khan urged President Dr Arif Alvi to institute an “immediate inq­uiry” against Qamar Bajwa for allegedly violating his oath as the chief of army staff in the wake of the general’s admission that “we considered Imran Khan dangerous to the country if he continued to stay in power”.

In a letter to Dr Alvi, the PTI chairman requested him to ascertain who was the “we” that considered him “dangerous” if he remained in power. Imran Khan is critical of the former army chief’s role in his almost daily televised addresses and had called for an internal military inquiry against Mr Bajwa for his alleged “admission” about being involved in the PTI government’s ouster.

Mr Khan has been alleging that Mr Bajwa wanted to shield Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other PML-N leaders from corruption cases. He also alleged that Gen Bajwa, whom he also called the ‘one-man establishment’ and lately as ‘super king’, had already decided that he would replace him and bring Mr Sharif as prime minister.

In his letter, the PTI chief stated that some very disturbing information had come into the public domain whereby it was clear that Gen Bajwa violated his oath repeatedly. H raised a question that who gave the ex-chief power to decide that an elected PM was supposedly a “danger to the cou­ntry if he continued to stay in power”.

Says ex-COAS contested govt policy of ‘neutrality’ on Russia-Ukraine issue

“Taking such a right on himself is in clear violation of his oath as given in Third Schedule Article 244 of the Constitution,” he observed. The PTI chairman stated that Gen Bajwa had also admitted that he managed to get the NAB case against Shaukat Tarin dismissed.

“This statement reveals that NAB was under his control, which is again a clear violation of the constitutional oath because the army itself was a department under the Ministry of Defence and civilian official autonomous institutions did not come under military control,” he added.

The former prime minister has already criticised the former chief for giving statements against Russia at a time when the PTI government was negotiating to purchase fuel and wheat at cheaper rates.

His letter mentioned that Gen Bajwa committed a serious violation of his oath when he publicly went against the then government’s policy of maintaining neutrality in the Russia-Ukraine war.

The former premier said that the government policy was chalked out after a consensus among all stakeholders who had the relevant experience and were area specialists.

In a podcast, Imran Khan claimed that the Pakistan Democratic Movement wanted an NRO from the PTI government which he repeatedly refused. “My biggest dispute with the PDM was that they kept asking for NRO to get a clean chit in their corruption cases but I refused to do so; Gen Bajwa gave them NRO and saved them from being caught,” Mr Khan alleged. He claimed it is believed that the army would control if the country defaults, but the army won’t be able to control if Pakistan suffers an economic collapse.

Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2023

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