Former prime minister Imran Khan has said that the ‘neutrals’ had told him not to cancel his controversial visit to Russia as Pakistan needed to buy wheat, oil and military hardware from Moscow.
During an interview with television host Aftab Iqbal on Saturday, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson, in an apparent reference to the establishment, said: “On the morning of my visit to Russia, I talked to the “neutrals” and they said this is the right time to go and suggested not to cancel the visit at this stage. At that time, Pakistan needed Russia to buy wheat, oil and the army wanted to buy their military hardware.”
He further said that it is a misconception that former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief General Faiz Hameed was his favourite officer, saying that the matter of appointing the next army chief had never crossed his mind.
He claimed that people like Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif are the ones who worry about appointing someone who will be loyal to them, because they have done ‘corruption’, and they constantly ‘fear losing their money’, so they need an army chief who will ‘stand by them throughout’.
“In fact, they want the army to turn into the Punjab police,” said Imran.
“I never interfered in the judiciary, never used the police for revenge proceedings, never messed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), nor did I ever launch a false case against someone using the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), apart from the valid corruption cases.”