Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has admitted that he dissolved the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on advice from former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.
“In a meeting with General Bajwa held in the presence of President Dr Arif Alvi, he [Gen Bajwa] said that if you want elections, dissolve your governments,” said Khan while talking on ARY News programme, ‘Sawal Yeh Hai’.
Khan had earlier made multiple accusations against the former army chief, including the allegation that he had conspired to remove PTI government at the center.
The former prime minister further said, “General Bajwa and the [premier intelligence] agency knew that the current rulers had stolen the money from the national kitty and taken it abroad. Despite knowing this, General Bajwa was willing to give them NRO as he had planned an extension [for himself].”
“If you have an ideology, you can’t convince yourself to give NRO to these people,” added Khan.
He also revealed that a leader from the Middle East had told him a year ago that Bajwa was not supporting him any longer.
Khan went on to say that they [coalition government] are running away from elections.
During the interview, Imran Khan also suggested that polls can take place in July if Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif dissolves the National Assembly — the lower house of parliament.
“Elections can be held in July if the prime minister dissolves the assembly,” the ousted premier said.
He also stressed that caretaker governments in both Punjab and KP — the provinces where Khan’s party was in power before he decided to dissolve its two assemblies on January 14 and 18, respectively — are illegal after the lapse of their stipulated term.
“The caretaker government’s tenure is over already, it has become illegal,” the deposed premier said. He demanded the caretaker government be abolished and a new “neutral” interim setup be instated.
He added that the Supreme Court of Pakistan has given May 14 as the date for Punjab polls and his party won’t let the government extend polling day beyond that.
“If they think they [incumbent government] will pressurise the Supreme Court, we will not let it happen. They will create scandals about the top court to run away from elections,” he said.
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