Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan admits he offered extension to Army chief Bajwa
Islamabad: Pakistan’s ousted prime minister Imran Khan has admitted that he offered an extension in the tenure of Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa Pakistan ex-PM Imran Khan admits he offered extension to Army chief Bajwain March amid the opposition’s attempt to topple his government.
Khan’s remarks came after Pakistan’s ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Najum revealed at an unprecedented press conference on Thursday that the army chief was given a “lucrative offer” for an indefinite extension in his tenure in March this year.
“It was made in front of me. He (Gen Bajwa) rejected it because he wanted the institution to move forward from a controversial role to a constitutional role,” the ISI chief said, without naming former premier Khan.
“I repeatedly warned Gen Bajwa that if this no-confidence motion succeeds, it will have a direct impact on the economy and no one would be able to control it as the economy will go into a tailspin,” he said.
Khan said he also asked the top military leaders “as to why did they hold a press conference to discuss political matters if they were apolitical”.
Gen Anjum addressed the first-ever media interaction by any ISI chief in Pakistan’s history on Thursday.
The press conference came as the country was grappling with different versions about the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and indirect allegations against the armed forces.
Sharif was shot dead at a police checkpoint at an hour’s distance from Nairobi on Sunday night, creating a storm in the country. The Kenyan police later said it was a case of “mistaken identity” during a search for a similar car involved in a child abduction case.
Spoke about the killing of Sharif, Khan said the killing of the senior journalist was not an accident and his murder was planned in Pakistan.
“I’ve made a video and named people… If I’m killed the personalities involved will also be killed in three to five hours,” he said.
Separately, Khan reiterated his claim that a foreign conspiracy was hatched to topple his government.
Addressing the PTI social media team and a video statement on the eve of his long march towards the federal capital, Khan urged people to join his movement for real freedom of the country.
“Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq hatched a foreign conspiracy to topple my government. Through social media, show every citizen what they did with the PTI government,” Khan told the party’s social media team.
Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, apparently lost support of the powerful Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI chief last year.
Finally, he agreed but it soured his ties with the army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75 years of existence and has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.
Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote, has often talked about a ‘threat letter’ from the US and claimed that it was part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. The US has bluntly rejected the allegations.
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