Wanted to retain Gen Faiz to counter winter attacks, says Imran

Lists conflicts with ex-army chief General (rtd) Bajwa after enjoying one-page; accuses caretaker set up of targeting them
<p>Screen grab. PTI YouTube Channel</p>

Screen grab. PTI YouTube Channel

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday revealed that he wanted to retain Lieutenant General (retired) Faiz Hameed as the chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy branch to counter an expected increase in militant attacks in the winter of 2021-22, and that the matter later went on to unravel the one-page with the military.

He said this on Wednesday while addressing PTI workers via video link.

The PTI chief said he and former army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa were on the same page. But admitted to developing differences on two major issues.

The first, Imran claimed, cropped up immediately after Gen Bajwa got an extension in his tenure.

Imran alleged that the former army chief wanted to give an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the then opposition comprising the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Secondly, Imran claimed that General (retired) Bajwa wanted to appoint the head of the powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of his choice.

“I wanted to wanted to retain General (retired) Faiz Hameed as director general of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to counter winter attacks [from militants].”

“I wanted the best player to retain the DG ISI slot,” he said.

He said after the Afghan Taliban took over [in Kabul], his government tried to make contact with Kabul because the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were operating in the tribal areas.

He alleged that incumbent government had made funny and insensitive statements about the tribal areas because they lacked an understanding about the tribal districts.

He conceded to parlaying with terrorists for ensuring peace in the tribal areas but defended the move as the only pathway to sustainable peace.

Since his regime was evicted, Imran said that talks on bringing peace in the tribal areas stalled, culminating in a resurgence of TTP in the Malakand.

Terrorism uptick in KP and elections

Imran alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wanted to use the recent tragedy in Peshawar as an excuse to delay elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

He said, there were no ifs or buts in the Constitution on delay elections, reiterating the Constitution clearly states that elections must be held in 90 days.

“I am telling you, they planned to delay elections for a year,” Imran claimed while pointing to the incumbent federal government.

Imran said despite a war on terror and terror attacks at their peak, general elections were not postponed in 2008 nor in 2013.

He regretted that KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali wrote letter to ECP to postpone the elections in KP when the nation were in grief over the deadly suicide attack on Police Lines.

Imran further claimed that the caretaker governments installed in KP and Punjab were not behaving as neutrals, instead, he stated that they had been brought to prosecute them.

Imran Khan

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