Since the removal of former Prime Minister Imran Khan through a Vote of No Confidence in April 2022, political analysts have wondered what led to a falling out between the Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the then-Army Chief, General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Kamran Yousaf has unveiled new details of the falling-out between the two. In a report for Express Tribune, Yousaf has revealed that at one point in the growing chasm between the two, General Bajwa resigned from the post of Chief of Army Staff (COAS).

On the morning of October 7, 2021, General Bajwa informed Azam Khan, the Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, that he was resigning, giving the Premier one week to appoint a new Chief.

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The information, conveyed on a phone call, left the government in panic. Within the hour, top military officials reached out to General Bajwa, pleading with him to not resign.

How had matters reached this point? The fallout begun when Imran Khan secured a vote of confidence after his candidate for senate, Hafeez Sheikh, was defeated by the opposition’s candidate, Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani. General Bajwa told Imran Khan that after securing members for his vote, the establishment will no longer manage political maneuvering for his government.
He was also told that General Faiz Hameed, Director-General of Inter-Serviced Intelligence (DG ISI) will be transferred from his post, in line with army procedures. Imran asked for a month, then more time.

In October, General Bajwa informed the Prime Minister that the transfer cannot be delayed further, to which Imran replied by asking for changes in the procedure. This led to a heated argument between the two former proponents of ‘same page’.

“This is not the Punjab Police, Mr Prime Minister,” Bajwa told Imran bluntly.

Imran agreed to the change, leading to ISPR issuing a notification.

The very next morning, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry issued a statement that the appointment was the Prime Minister’s domain, hinting that the appointment was not done with his approval.

A furious General Bajwa conveyed to the PM office his decision to resign. Convinced to not do so by military officials, he again met Imran Khan where the two reached a compromise.

General Faiz would serve for a few more weeks while Imran would then agree to Bajwa’s candidate.

The relationship between the two was, however, damaged and would never be the same again.