KARACHI: Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday said that he has a “personal” dispute with former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (Retd) but he will not take any action against him if he comes into power again.
He made these remarks during a meeting with a delegation of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore.
Imran said that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir himself has said that he will remain neutral. However, he added that holding elections within three months after the dissolution of assemblies will be the biggest test of his neutrality.
He said that when Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed (retd) was removed as DG ISI, it became obvious that a plan had been hatched to topple the PTI government. “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.
The former prime minister said that he explained to the former army chief how Shehbaz could be considered for the prime minister’s post as he was named in Rs16 billion worth of corruption cases. However, he added, he later came to know that corruption was not an issue for General Bajwa (retd).
“Gen Bajwa used to say that Aleem Khan should be made the [Punjab] chief minister. I found out about his illegal possession so I said how he can be made chief minister,” he said.
Imran said Pakistan’s economy would have performed even better if there wasn’t a coronavirus pandemic and China was not locked down for two years.
Economy of the country is on a decline and income of people is low then how can loans be returned in this situation, he questioned. “A country cannot prosper if there is no rule of law,” he added. “I told Gen Bajwa that if we catch 10 to 12 top corrupt people, everything will get back on right track.”
Imran said that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was formed in 1999 but it should be questioned whether corruption increased or decreased since then.
“We had a decent relation with Gen Bajwa but I don’t know what happened later.”
Talking about the Toshakhana case, the PTI chief said that if there was corruption during his tenure, then the opponents would have raised it rather than highlighting the Toshakhana issue only.
“Toshakhana is not a museum. If I had not bought the watch it would have been bought by someone else during an auction,” he said, adding that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari too bought expensive cars from Toshakhana.
The former prime minister further said that he will not form a weak government this time as it is unable to produce results.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022