Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Fawad Chaudhry has said that in the no-confidence motion against his party’s Chairman and then-Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was actually the PTI versus the military.
Fawad claimed during a BBC HARDTalk interview yesterday that “some army generals, as well as ex-chief General [Qamar Javed] Bajwa were actively involved in sending the PTI government home”.
Establishment played a very active role in the ouster of Imran Khan
“And in that conspiracy, some army generals were involved, there is no doubt about that and the establishment actually played a very active role in the ouster of Imran Khan. In fact, the last army chief was [also] actively involved in sending our government home,” he alleged.
Host Stephen Sackur asked Fawad about DG ISI Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum’s press conference, in which he, alongside then ISPR chief Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar, said Imran Khan asked the military to perform an unconstitutional act during the no-confidence vote.
Chaudhry responded: “The current [army] leadership has just assumed the office and we are hoping there will be a change in the policy, but the last chief was not speaking truth when he said we asked [for their] help. We only asked for their neutrality.”
Unelected institutions like the judiciary and the military exercised their powers beyond Constitution
Dismissing the notion that the PTI was against the military, Fawad said his party was not against anyone. “In Pakistan, unelected institutions like the judiciary and the military exercised their powers beyond Constitution [in the past], which is known to everyone.”
Bygones are bygones: PTI looks forward to having good relations with US
Talking about how Khan blamed United States for his ouster and then later changing his narrative that he wants to have good relations with US, Fawad said that the PTI never said it seeks a war with the superpower. “Instead, it wants good bilateral ties. No party wants confrontation with the US,” Fawad noted. However, at the same time the PTI doesn’t want any country including the US to dictate Pakistan, he opined.
Saying bygones are bygones, Fawad said his party looks forward to having good relations with the US, and hopes the superpower too would like to collaborate with Pakistan’s most popular political party.
Calling Osama bin Laden a “martyr” was a slip of a tongue
To a question, he clarified that Imran never called Osama bin Laden a “martyr”, saying he had a slip of a tongue in one speech which was clarified later.
Shehbaz govt ruined all efforts due to their ignorance of Afghanistan’s history and problems
Chaudhry said the then-PTI government was holding “continuous negotiations” with the Afghan government “and we were close to actually resolve the issue”.
He, however, blamed the incumbent government for “ruining” all efforts due to their “ignorance of Afghanistan’s history and problems”.
PTI could wait for elections but….
The PTI leader said his party could wait for elections “but this government is not ready to hold polls as they know people will oust them through vote”.
He insisted that elections were needed for Pakistan and not for the PTI. “We are asking that elections should be held at the earliest so that a new responsible government can take care of economic affairs.”
Zardari and Sharifs had put Pakistan into a vicious debt cycle
Stephen Sackur said Pakistan’s debt stood at $116 billion when the PTI took over in 2018, but it rose to $230 billion when the party left government.
Fawad responded saying his party’s government had to borrow funds to return the loans taken by the previous government. He maintained that his party’s government worked to restructure the loans and did as far as economy is concerned.
He said, ” Zardari and Sharifs had put Pakistan into a vicious debt cycle.
Imran gave the country one of the cleanest governments in 75 years of history
Sackur said figures did not bear out his claim, referring to promises made by the PTI before elections, especially those about corruption, He said that Pakistan fell by 20 points on the corruption perception index (CPI).
Fawad disagreed, arguing that these were the departments related to rule of law, for example judiciary, not the political side, that had contributed to that index. He said Imran gave the country one of the cleanest governments in its 75 years of existence.
The PTI leader said it is not possible to create economic stability without political stability as [political uncertainty in the country is such that] no one knows who will rule the country three or five months from now.