Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has claimed that the federal government has evidence that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has apologized to United States Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu, and has admitted that citing the ‘US regime change conspiracy’ was a mistake.
The defence minister made this claim during an appearance on a television show on Geo News on Sunday, where he said, “We have obtained all records regarding PTI’s apology to Lu. Evidence has been received regarding PTI leaders’ meeting with the US government where they tendered an apology.”
He further said that while PTI Chairperson Imran Khan had been chanting slogans at his political rallies, he was now ‘apologizing to the US for his mistakes’.
“The one shouting anti-US slogans in Pakistan is on his knees and seeking apology from US,” the defence minister said.
Asif said that Imran Khan has sent a message to the US saying that he wants to ‘fix things and his relationship with the superpower’.
Since his ouster through a no-confidence motion on April 10, former prime minister Imran Khan has held the US responsible for instigating and backing a regime change conspiracy against him. In many of his speeches since then, he has chided Donald Lu for using threatening language against a Pakistani diplomat at meeting at the time of the no-confidence motion.
Reacting to Khawaja Asif’s claims, PTI leader and former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet, “He should present the evidence if he has any,” adding that no directions had been issued to anyone for a patch-up.
He said that Khawaja Asif was a ‘habitual liar’ and asserted that no member of PTI had at any level maintained contact with the US government, and that PTI’s policy regarding the US had been made clear at the last rally. He then said Khawaja Asif was ‘mentally ill’ due to a recent accident.