Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi on Sunday said that former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa had showed the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) the way towards Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Imran Khan during the no-confidence vote in April.
In an interview with BOL News programme "Tajzia," Elahi said he had received offers from both the PTI camp and the then-opposition for the PML-Q’s support. The chief minister said that his son Moonis Elahi had also expressed a desire to side with the PTI.
“God changed our path in the last moments and sent Gen (r) Bajwa to show us the way. When I expressed my concerns about the Sharifs and that I don’t trust them then Bajwa Sahab said, ‘You should proceed carefully and the path going towards Imran is better for you and your friends,’” CM Elahi said without specifying if his interaction with the former COAS occurred before the no-confidence move against Imran or at the time of the Punjab chief minister elections.
Elahi's statement comes days after his son Moonis Elahi during a Hum News show that Gen Bajwa advised his party to support the PTI during the no-confidence vote that resulted in the ouster of former premier Imran Khan in April.
“At present, a certain section on social media has been bashing Bajwa sahib without any reason. He is the same Bajwa sahib who had bent the direction of the river’s flow for the PTI,” Moonis had said, adding that he had had a disagreement on this with the PTI and anyone else speaking against the retired army chief.
He went on to say that a man “went all out for you (PTI)”, but now that he had retired, “he has become bad”.
“Had he been bad, he wouldn’t have asked us to back Imran.”
When the anchor sought clarification on whether Gen Bajwa had asked them to support Imran, Moonis had elaborated: “When the decision was being taken on which way we have to go, we had received offers from both sides — mian sahiban [Sharif family], the PDM (Pakistan Democratic Movement), as well as the PTI,“ he said, adding that his inclination was towards PTI also helped them take a decision.
“I then had a discussion with walid sahib (his father) and he had a talk with them (the military establishment)," Moonis had added.
When asked about Moonis Elahi's claim in an interview on Saturday, Imran Khan accused the former army chief of playing a double game with him and sending mixed messages and more.
“Moonis was asked to support Imran Khan, while the other one [Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain] had been asked to go to PML-N. Gen Bajwa was playing a double game and I could later identify that even PTI’s different men were being given different messages.”