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Wednesday, May 22, 2024  
13 Dhul-Qadah 1445  

Imran laments giving extension to Gen Bajwa

Claims former army chief ‘played double game with him’
PTI chief Imran Khan during an interview with Bol News. Screengrab via YouTube
PTI chief Imran Khan during an interview with Bol News. Screengrab via YouTube

PTI chief Imran Khan has lamented that the three-year extension granted to former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa was a “big mistake” and stressed that no one should get that in the army.

“I am fully convinced. But, I also thought the same thing then, however, situations were made that this would happen and it needs stability,” he said in an interview with Bol News on Saturday. “We were new in the power and there were so many problems.”

Retired Gen Bajwa was given an extension by former prime minister Imran Khan in 2019 three months before the completion of his three-year term as the chief of army staff in view of the “regional security environment”.

The statement comes days after the change of command ceremony where General Syed Asim Munir became the successor of former army chief Gen (retd) Bajwa.

Similar concerns were shared by former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser in an interview with Dawn. He also called it a “mistake” but further described it as a “collective” decision of Parliament.

When asked about getting some guarantees then, Imran replied negatively. “I did not seek and was not given any. The cooperation with us was 100%.” He also asked about the reasons for opposing the decision now that he supported it in the past.

Imran admitted that he was not aware of many things while he was in power in response to a query pertaining to the political developments surrounding the tenure of the army chief.

The PTI chief said he “could not fathom” why the powerful were held accountable for their actions, reiterating his stress on rule of law.

Imran continued with his allegations of imported government, saying that the “people who brought the incumbent government” was responsible for the economic situation that according to the PTI chief was not in a good state.

‘Double game’

To a query on PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi’s claim that Gen Bajwa had asked him to support the PTI, Imran said: “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.”

He claimed that his biggest weakness was trusting Gen Bajwa. “I was not known that I was betrayed.”

“Never before I’ve seen a man playing these double games with everyone like Gen Bajwa did,” Imran said.

‘Game is now not in the hands of PDM’

Imran claimed that the game, in a reference to politics, was not in the hands of the Pakistan Peoples Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

“[Punjab] chief minister Pervez Elahi is standing with us and he has given full assurance that I dissolve assemblies whenever I want,” he said.

The reaction came after Zardari in an exclusive interview with Aaj News claimed that the PPP has enough tricks up his sleeves to disrupt the assembly dissolution plan of PTI.

“Pervez has given me full authority to dissolve assembly whenever I want. I will be meeting my people in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab.”

‘Elections till March’

“We want to see elections in March, if they want to negotiate on it fine, if not we will proceed with dissolving assemblies,” he said and reiterated that the party would dissolve assemblies this month if the coalition government did not accept the demand.

He rejected any suggestion to conduct elections after the budget.

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Army Chief

imran khan

General Qamar Javed Bajwa

pti chief

Chief of the Army Staff