Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson and former prime minister Imran Khan claimed on Thursday that he had been aware of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) plan to oust him since July 2021, which is why he wanted the former Director General (DG) of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to continue.
Speaking in a podcast hosted by Junaid Akram, Muzamil Hasan and TCM Originals, Khan responded to the rumors of a ‘disagreement’ between him and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, particularly relating to the appointment of the former DG ISI Lt General Faiz Hameed.
Talha Asad, one of the hosts, asked Khan if there was a particular event that flipped the ‘one page narrative’ that Khan had been speaking of in the days before the alleged falling out.
The former prime minister responded by recounting that there was some “unpleasantness” over him appointing Gen. Faiz, and people had insinuated that Khan had wanted to make him the new army chief. He added that he was not like PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, who according to Khan, controlled all institutions in the country, and wanted to control the army as well by appointing his own army chief.
“I have never had an issue with army because I have never interfered in their matters. I never wanted to bring my own army chief. I always wanted to make the institutions of army, police and judiciary strong,” Imran went on to say.
He went on to say that the only issue he faced was when he got to know last summer about the possibility of a civil war in Afghanistan, and feared for how the situation would play out for Pakistan if the US withdrew from there. He claimed that is why he wanted Gen Faiz to stay on during those ‘vulnerable winters’.
“To date, I have never done anything against merit,” he said. “So I can’t even think of going against merit for the appointment of the army chief.”