Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Saturday claimed that former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa asked him to replace Usman Buzdar with Aleem Khan as Punjab chief minister.
Talking to a private news channel, the PTI chief said, “Gen (retd) Bajwa used to ask me to appoint Aleem Khan as Punjab CM.”
The ex-prime minister said that he informed Gen (retd) Bajwa that Aleem had a lot of allegations levelled against him, and that, in light of those claims, he couldn’t appoint him as the chief minister.
Responding to a question about the dissolution of assemblies, the PTI chief said that CM Punjab Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi was of the view that the provincial government should run a little longer.
The CM Punjab, however, assured him of complying with his direction in letter and spirit relating to the dissolution of the assemblies, Khan said, adding that Elahi did not put forward any demand about his reappointment.
Berating the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, Khan claimed it is trying hard to disqualify him.
The former premier added that General (retd) Bajwa considered Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif a “genius”.
Calling all those people involved in ousting his government, “Mir Jaffer and Mir Sadiq”, he said: “Whatever happened with PTI during the last seven months was all because of ex-COAS Gen Bajwa’s policies,” he said.
“Gen Bajwa would say nobody will take a ticket from PTI and PML-N will form the new government,” he claimed.
‘Nawaz Sharif to be arrested if comes to Punjab’
“[PML-N] supremo Nawaz Sharif is trying to close all cases against him and to disqualify me,” he added.
Condemning the dismissal of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif’s cases, Khan said: “Nawaz Sharif will not return until his cases are dismissed. If he comes to Punjab, then he will be arrested.
Shedding light on the prevailing situation in the country, Khan reiterated his demand for elections, linking economic growth with political stability.
“Whether they hold elections now or after 10 months or a year, they [PDM] will lose,” he claimed.
‘NAB was under Bajwa’s control’
Khan alleged that during his government’s tenure, General (retd) Bajwa controlled the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).
“NAB was under Bajwa’s control; therefore, he decided who would go in and who will be released. It was not in our hands,” the PTI chief said.
He alleged the former army chief would oversee who should be arrested and who shouldn’t.
“We did not have the authority. Those who did, they provided relief them. NAB was not under our control. They [military] had influence everywhere,” he said.
The former prime minister added that he was asked to deal with the economy and leave accountability to them.
While referring to the Punjab by-polls results that were held in July, the PTI chief said that those who left the party to join the PDM were punished for doing so in the by-polls — as the party won a majority of the seats up for grabs.