Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir is not willing to talk to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as he does not want to interfere in the democratic process, said Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, the minister said the incumbent COAS, when he was the spy chief, informed then-prime minister Khan that his cabinet minister and wife were involved in corruption and also provided evidence.
“Instead of taking action against the corrupt [officials], Imran removed him from the post of DG ISI,” she said.
Aurangzeb added that Khan knew that the current army chief was aware of his corruption and had the evidence.
The PTI chief believed that the COAS is playing a role in giving evidence to the government to file cases against Khan but it is not true, she added.
Referring to the PTI chief’s tirade against the establishment, the information minister said Khan offered the then-chief of army staff General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa a lifetime extension behind closed doors and also met him in President House just to invite him to interfere in the process of vote of no-confidence against him.
“Imran Khan had no problem with Bajwa when he was there but when he did not listen to Imran Khan’s request, he was called out by Khan because he lost power," she added.
Responding to a question, she said the references filed by Federal Investigation Agency and the National Accountability Bureau were in the courts where Khan was not ready to face the law and defend himself.
Khan is trying to develop the perception that the government is settling some political vendetta or making him a target of political victimisation which is contrary to the facts, she added.
Aurangzeb said that when Khan was in the government, the opposition leaders who used to ask questions were sent to jail, where they "were kept in death cells".
If the government had wanted to target him, it would not have waited for 14 months, she said, adding, "We could have arrested him just for the cypher thing, the joke that he was moving around with he would have been behind the bars.
She said Imran Khan dissolved the KP and Punjab assemblies on what he called Bajwa’s advice.
She said Imran's diktats could not be followed as there was a Constitution and law which would definitely take its own course and the election would be held after completion of constitutional tenure.
— Additional input from APP