Tuesday Feb 14, 2023
Firing fresh broadside at the former military commander, ex-prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday claimed that General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa asked him to decry the Russian invasion of Ukraine soon after his return from Moscow.
Giving details about his talks with the ex-army chief, the ousted premier said: “I talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin about procurement of oil at cheaper rates but when I returned to Pakistan, then chief of army staff asked me to condemn Russia's attack on Ukraine.”
In an address to intellectuals through a video link, Khan — who was removed from power via no-confidence in April last year — said when he advised Bajwa to stay “neutral” like India in the matter, the ex-army chief himself started condemning Russia.
“A grade-22 officer made a foreign policy statement during a seminar to please the US,” the deposed prime minister said. He went on to say that the country would have to face the consequences when decisions were made to please Washington.
In a bid to plea the United States, 80,000 people got killed in the war on terror, he added.
Turning his guns towards the coalition government and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), the PTI leader said that as per the Constitution, the polls must be held within 90 days after the dissolution of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies but “these people are making new excuses”.
It is pertinent to mention here that Khan, earlier today, decided to launch a save the Constitution drive [Aain Bachao Tehreek] if elections are not held within 90 days.
On February 10, the former premier said that the ex-army chief had accepted that he was behind the "regime change" move that led to his government's removal.
Though Khan had earlier blamed the United States for overthrowing his PTI administration, later he turned the guns towards the ex-army chief, and then he also claimed that Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Naqvi was also involved in the "regime change" operation.
In an interview with Voice of America (Urdu), the ex-premier said: "General Bajwa told the journalist with much pride how he had our government ousted due to economic policies and other matters."