Imran blames Gen Bajwa for ‘crises’

LAHORE (Agencies): As the country is facing enormous economic and political challenges, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan blamed former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, claiming the uncertainty started the day his government was overthrown.

“Due to the decision of one person, the PTI-led government was toppled and the crisis started,” the former prime minister said while addressing the “Rule of Law” conference via video link on Friday. Khan was ousted from power through a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly in April last year. Without naming former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa, he said: “One person decided to change the [PTI] regime and hatched a conspiracy.”

The coalition government, he said, had failed to tackle the economic crisis as “it does not have any plan” to restore the economy”. The PTI chief said that never in the country’s history had Pakistan faced a worse economic crisis than the one it “faces these days”. He insisted that the crises were “deliberately manufactured”. “It is not a natural crisis.”

Interestingly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif also blamed General Bajwa and Lieutenant General (retd) Faiz Hameed for the current mess in the country. “Everyone [in the government] is hoping to get money from Saudi Arabia and China,” Khan said, adding that the rulers, in Geneva, requested the international community to provide them funds in connection with the devastation by the environmental changes.

Until the 90s, Pakistan’s economic indicators remained largely positive in the Subcontinent, the PTI leader said, adding that no one could have imagined that the “country’s economy could fall to such levels”. Referring to the deepening economic crisis, Khan said the country’s reserves had fallen to a historic low, adding, “We do not have money to open the Letters of Credits (LCs).”

“No one is ready to give funds to Pakistan,” he further said. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will come to rescue Pakistan only when its conditions are accepted, the deposed prime minister said. He, however, added that inflation would further rise in the country if the conditions of the international lender are “accepted”.

“The prices of petrol and diesel will surge if the Pakistani currency is devalued against the US dollar.” Imran Khan said, “Notorious dacoits were brought to power under a conspiracy.” Lambasting the collation government, he also said, “Major dacoits are given key posts in the country.” Amendments, he said, were made to National Accountability Bureau (NAB) laws to end cases against the rulers.

He claimed former president retired Gen Pervez Musharraf gave them NRO-I and later ex-COAS Gen Bajwa gave them NRO-II. Seeking the attention of the judicial fraternity, the PTI chairman said the struggle to uphold the rule of law is “jihad”. ‘Who is blocking justice?’

Khan once again criticised the state machinery for the brutal torture of PTI Senator Azam Khan Swati, 70, in front of his grandsons and granddaughters. He added that the senior lawmaker was humiliated just because of “one tweet”. Talking about the problems being faced by the former premier to lodge an FIR about the assassination attempt on his life even when his government was in power in Punjab, Khan asked: “Who is blocking justice?” The JIT [joint investigation tribunal] tasked with probing the assassination bid on his life is being sabotaged, he added.