Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said that he will not take any action against Gen (retd) Bajwa if he attains power again, terming his grievances with the former COAS “a personal dispute.”
The PTI Chief made these remarks during a meeting with a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
Imran added that the new Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir has said that they will remain neutral. However, he added that the biggest test of his neutrality would be holding elections within three months of the dissolution of KP and Punjab assemblies.
The PTI chief added that he became certain that a plan had been hatched to oust the PTI government when Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hameed was removed as DG ISI.
“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.
Imran Khan said that he inquired the former army chief how could Shehbaz, who is named in Rs16 billion worth of corruption cases, be considered for the Prime Minister’s post, but he later came to know that corruption was not an issue for the General (retd) Bajwa.
The PTI chief reiterated that the former COAS wanted Aleem Khan to be the Chief Minister of Punjab. “I refused because of his [Aleem Khan’s] corruption and land grabbing” cases. “Aleem Khan even sold the land of the river,” he added.
He also claimed that the national economy was performing well during the tenures of the PTI government and the “three dictatorships”. He added that the economy would have performed even better if the coronavirus pandemic had not swept across the world.
About the Toshakhana case, Imran said they could only find out the alleged corruption of his government in the watch transaction. “If I didn’t buy this watch, anyone else would have bought it in the auction. It was all legal but Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari had illegally bought cars for the Toshakhana,” he added.
Imran further said he would not accept a weak government because he had learned that it was impossible to deliver anything with weak control. He insisted that the provincial election must take place within 90 days of the dissolution. “If elections go beyond 90 days, it would be a violation of the Constitution.”
Earlier PTI Chairman Imran Khan announced on Saturday that Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies will be dissolved by next Friday (23 December 2022).
Addressing a public gathering at the Liberty Chowk in Lahore, he thanked Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and KP CM Mahmood Khan for backing his decision. He said, “After disbanding the assemblies, we will start preparing for new elections”.
“Our struggle for transparent elections in the country will continue,” he said, adding that only a clear majority empowered a government to take drastic measures to drive the country out of the crisis.
He also lashed out at the chief election commissioner (CEC) for being “dishonest”, adding that attempts would be made to delay the elections in the country. He, however, clarified that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is bound to hold elections within 90 days of the dissolution of the provincial assemblies.