In yet another hard-hitting statement against the former army chief, PTI Chairman Imran Khan on Monday said that General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa was “solely responsible for the country’s prevailing political and economic crises” — including his ouster from power in April this year.
Speaking to foreign correspondents at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore, the former premier alleged that Gen (retd) Bajwa was controlling the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He claimed that the former army chief granted NRO — relief in corruption cases — to the incumbent rulers despite his opposition.
The ex-PM claimed that initially, Gen (retd) Bajwa did not oppose his anti-corruption drive to hold culprits accountable “but eventually asked me to focus on the economy and to move away from accountability”.
Commenting on Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi’s statement favoring the former army chief, Imran clarified that the PTI and the PML-Q were two independent political parties and hence the latter has its different policy on Gen (retd) Bajwa.
“The Punjab chief minister has handed over a summary for the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly to me and I will send this advice to the Punjab Governor on Friday,” he added.
He maintained that the PML-Q was an independent party and thus it can hold negotiations with the PML-N.
The deposed PM said that he could not say to what extent the Americans were involved in the removal of his government. “Hence, I had demanded an inquiry into the cipher,” he said.
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Separately in a meeting with PTI Punjab lawmakers, the former prime minister assured them that PML-Q would stand by his party’s decision to dissolve the provincial legislature.
“He (Elahi) stands with the PTI and despite the differences, we will contest the upcoming elections together,” the sources quoted the former premier as saying in the huddle.
“[The PML-Q senior leader] Moonis Elahi has assured me of the PML-Q’s full support; hence, there would be ‘dama dam mast qalandar’ on coming Friday (December 23),” he added.
Commenting on the Punjab CM’s tirade against the PTI over anti-Bajwa statements, Imran observed that Pervaiz Elahi has a habit of taking pressure, adding that the latter “firmly stands” with the PTI and would dissolve the Punjab Assembly when the PTI decides to do so.
“The provincial legislators should not get confused with the chief minister’s statement and hence should not change their narrative,” he added.
Meanwhile, the PTI chief formed a three-member committee to discuss seat adjustment with the PML-Q for the next elections, insiders added.
PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi will head the committee while former Defence Minister Parvez Khattak and PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry will be its members.
“The committee would hold its first meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi on Tuesday (tomorrow) to decide the SOPs for the negotiations. It would also review the electoral position of the PTI in constituencies where the PML-Q was asking for seat adjustments. It would later submit a final report on the negotiations to the PTI chief,” sources added.
It was reported in the media that the PML-Q had demanded seat adjustments in more than two dozen constituencies with the PTI before the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly. The PML-Q wanted that the PTI finalize an agreement on the seat adjustment before the dissolution of the assemblies.
(With input from Imran Adnan in Lahore)