Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Saturday claimed that former chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa told him to replace Usman Buzdar with Aleem Khan as Punjab chief minister.
“General (retd) Bajwa’s demand to remove Buzdar was strange,” Khan — who levelled allegations against the ex-COAS recently — said in an interview with a private television channel.
Khan, who was removed from the prime minister’s office through a no-confidence vote in April, said: “General (retd) Bajwa asked to remove Usman Buzdar. He would insist on making Aleem Khan the chief minister of Punjab.”
The ex-prime minister said that he informed General (retd) Bajwa that Aleem had a lot of allegations levelled against him, and that, in light of those claims, he couldn’t appoint him as the chief minister.
The former prime minister revealed that the incumbent CM of Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi did not want Aleem as the province’s chief minister.
Calling all those people involved in ousting his government as “Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq”, he said: “Whatever happened with PTI during the last seven months was all because of ex-COAS Gen Bajwa’s policies.”
“Gen (retd) Bajwa would say nobody will take a ticket from PTI and PML-N would form the new government,” he claimed.
Khan alleged that during his government’s tenure, General (retd) Bajwa controlled the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
“NAB was under Bajwa’s control; therefore, he decided who would go in and who will be released. It was not in our hands,” the PTI chief said.
He alleged the former army chief would oversee who should be arrested and who shouldn’t.
“We did not have the authority. Those who did, they provided relief to them. NAB was not under our control. They [military] had influence everywhere,” he said.
The former prime minister added that he was asked to deal with the economy and leave accountability to them.
Assembly dissolution and Nawaz’s return
Commenting on the dissolution of the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies, Khan revealed that he would dissolve the assemblies in the ongoing month.
The PTI chief further shared that while CM Elahi believes the government should run a little longer, he will adhere to the PTI’s decision of dissolving the assembly.
“Parvez Elahi has said he will do as I say regarding the termination of the Punjab government. Parvez Elahi has not demanded becoming the chief minister again,” the former premier said.
Berating the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, the ex-premier said the multi-party alliance was “trying hard” to get him disqualified.
“[PML-N] supremo Nawaz Sharif is trying to close all cases against himself and disqualify me,” he added.
Shedding light on the prevailing situation in the country, Khan reiterated his demand for elections, linking economic growth with political stability.
“Whether they hold elections now or after 10 months or a year, they [PDM] will lose,” he claimed.
While referring to the Punjab by-polls results that were held in July, the PTI chief said that those who left the party to join the PDM were punished for doing so in the by-polls — as the party won a majority of the seats up for grabs.
Condemning the dismissal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s cases, Khan said: “Nawaz Sharif will not return until his cases are dismissed. If he comes to Punjab, then he will be arrested.
The former premier added that General (retd) Bajwa considered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif a “genius”.