28 September 2022
LAHORE: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan met Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar in a secret meeting facilitated by President Arif Alvi at the Presidency earlier this month and not Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa as claimed publicly by a senior Pakistan Tehrik Insaf leader Ishaq Khakwani, highly-placed sources told Voicepk.net.
In a talk show on September 14, Ishaq Khakwani, a close aide to Khan and a former president of PTI’s southern Punjab chapter, claimed that PTI chief Imran Khan held a secret meeting with Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He said President Dr Arif Alvi facilitated the meeting which was held at the Presidency earlier in the month.
In an exclusive interview with Munziae Jahangir, host of Aaj TV’s Spotlight show, Federal Minister Interior Rana Sanullah revealed that according to his government’s information no meeting took place between PTI chief Imran Khan and COAS Qamar Bajwa as claimed by PTI leaders.
“According to our verified information, the personalities who attended the meeting in the Presidency were not of the stature that is being talked about,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said in response to a question about whether Imran Khan and the COAS had a secret meeting at the Presidency.
“No meeting took place between the COAS and the PTI chief Imran Khan,” Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah clarified.
Contrary to claims, nothing significant came out of the meeting at the Presidency, Rana Sanullah said, adding otherwise one could see the outcome by now.
Other well-placed sources confirmed to Voicepk.net that it was indeed the DGISPR that met Imran Khan and not the Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa, as was being claimed by the PTI publicly and privately.
IMRAN KHAN NO MORE THE BLUE-EYED BOY OF THE ESTABLISHMENT
The Minister of Interior came down hard on claims of a rapprochement between the PTI chief and the establishment, calling Imran Khan an unreliable person. “Imran Khan is such an unreliable person that no assessment could ever be made about him,” he said.
Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah pointed out that the PTI chief did not believe in dialogue either with the opposition or with his allies when he was in government.
“Imran Khan ruled the country for about four years but never once did he engage with the opposition,” Rana Sanaullah, a senior leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government, said.
“Imran Khan did not even bother to make a telephone call to any opposition leader during his tenure,” he added.
“Leaving aside the Sharif brothers whom Imran Khan seems to have enmity with, there were other opposition leaders whom he could have talked to but did not, Rana Sanullah said. “Even Imran Khan’s allies complained that he never engaged with them either.”
Asked whether the former prime minister Imran Khan was trying to mend strained relations with the establishment following his ouster from power, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah said the chances of this happening were bleak given the controversy generated about the COAS’s appointment.
“People in the establishment would not like to be involved in the kind of situation Imran Khan wants to drag them into,” Rana Sanaullah said. “Imran Khan wants to make the appointment of the COAS controversial and the establishment wants no part in that.”
The interior minister said Imran Khan wanted to besiege the capital in a sit-in and force his demands which are undemocratic, unlawful and unconstitutional.
“The matter is that the course he wants to lead the country into is of complete destruction,” he added.
“The nation and all segments of society should understand that this person (Imran Khan) wants to sow discord and division in society.”
The interior minister said PTI chief Imran Khan was leading his followers astray. Asked why the government was not holding a probe into the alleged claim of a foreign conspiracy as a condition for PTI’s return to parliament, Rana Sanaullah said the PTI chief made conflicting statements about demanding a government investigation.
“In one interview Imran Khan said he wants the government to hold a probe into the conspiracy claim, but in another interview, he completely ruled that out,” Rana Sanullah said.