The Pakistani prime minister has been ousted Imran Khan He asked the establishment to abstain from “political engineering” during the general elections later in the year, as he claimed that his PTI party is the only one that can lift the cash-strapped nation out of its current economic mess.
Addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s women convention in Karachi via video link from his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Sunday, the cricketer-turned-politician once again blamed former Army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for his ouster as well as the current political and economic crisis facing Pakistan.
Khan expressed concern that political engineering might be used to weaken his party in the next general election and asked the powerful establishment to avoid making such a mistake.
He claimed that the military establishment had not learned from its past errors and that political engineering was being used to harm my party in future elections.
He claimed that the military establishment was involved with efforts to unify different factions within the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in Karachi, and sending Balochistan Anwami Party leaders from south Punjab into Pakistan Peoples Party(PPP) as it feared his party’s political power.
The politician, aged 70 years old, also accused the establishment for trying to bring the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz to power in Punjab province.
Khan said that “our establishment has already done so many damage to the country…but still it isn’t ready to learn anything form the past.” He had previously observed caution about Gen Asim Munir, the new army chief, and his policies. He hoped the military of Gen Munir would be neutral.
He continued his tirade at Gen (retd.). Khan continued his tirade against Gen (retd.)
“This man drove Pakistan into crisis. Before the April 2011 ouster of my government, I had already told him that it was not in the country’s best interest to weaken the PTI government. Bajwa destroyed Pakistan’s economic and political gains,” Khan stated, adding that only fair and free elections can steer the country out the crisis.
Since April’s no-confidence motion, Khan and Bajwa had been at odds.
Khan accused Bajwa last month of playing a double game against his government. He said that he made a mistake by extending the tenure for then-military chief in 2019.
Gen Bajwa (61), retired after receiving a three year extension by then Prime Minister Khan in 2019. Khan was the most vocal critic of the Pakistan Army.
The strong Army has ruled over the coup-prone country for more that half of its 75+ years of existence. It has held considerable power in matters of foreign policy and security.
Khan is the only Pakistani prime minster to have been ousted by a no confidence vote in Parliament. Khan had claimed that the no confidence vote was part of an American-led conspiracy against him due to his independent foreign policy decisions regarding Russia, China and Afghanistan. The allegations were denied by the US.