Thursday November 30, 2023

Faisal Vawda claims Imran Khan removed Gen Asim as ISI chief for acting honestly

Imran Khan accused Gen Asim Munir of trying to "meddle in the affairs of his family"

By Web Desk
May 23, 2023

Faisal Vawda, former Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and once a close aide of former prime minister Imran Khan, confirmed British news publication's allegation pertaining to the removal of Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir from his past position as the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief in 2018.

He added that Khan had removed the serving army chief back then for acting honestly and in the interest of the country.

The allegations — part of a UK-based newspaper The Telegraph's story which were seconded by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif — were denied by the PTI chief without him disclosing any facts of the actual fallout.

Vawda's confirmation came during an interview on Geo News programme "Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Saath", where he spoke about the COAS's brief stint as the Director General (DG) of the ISI during which he approached the Khan with evidence of his wife’s — former first lady Bushra Bibi — corruption.

“That is when Imran Khan sacked the then Gen Asim Munir,” he said, adding that he had warned the then-three-star general that if he took the evidence to Khan, “it will be your casualty”.

However, he said, Gen Munir responded by asking, “Do you want me to be dishonest to my country?”

The former federal minister then said that when Gen Munir presented evidence against Bushra Bibi and her friend Farhat Shahzadi — who is commonly known as Farah Gogi — Khan flew into a rage, accusing him of trying to "meddle in the affairs of his family".

“On the same day around 11pm, Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid took charge as DG ISI. This shows how much Imran Khan was in a hurry,” Vawda said.

The former federal minister then said that the sit-ins, shootings and even the murder of Arshad Sharif were all done to stop the appointment of General Munir as the army chief.

During the show, Vawda also revealed that before this instance, Khan — as prime minister — had approached Gen Munir to “manage the Senate”.

However, he said, Gen Munir rejected the task saying that the army could not interfere.

“He told Imran Khan that this is a democratic matter, deal with it democratically,” Vawda said.

‘Special people and snakes’

During the show, the former federal minister further alleged that Khan was being misled and derailed from his politics by “special people”.

While abstaining from naming anyone, Vawda referred to the £190 million settlement case in which the PTI chief has been accused of providing undue favour to a business tycoon.

He said: “In this case too, you will find members of the cabinet involved. There is also a “special” person who was involved and benefited from these.”

When asked if anyone other than Shahzad Akbar — former adviser to prime minister who allegedly acted as broker for Khan in the matter — was involved, Vawda replied: "Shehzad Akbar was not alone in this, there was a special person who had a lot of support. This special person had a very special role to play in this matter.”

“In the watch scandal too,” Vawda claimed, “Imran Khan got only 3, 4 crore rupees, the rest 20, 25 crore rupees were stolen by everyone together”, Vawda claimed.

Furthermore, regarding the evidence of corruption against former Punjab chief minister Usman Buzdar, Khan’s former aide said: “Usman Buzdar's audio and video evidence were shown to Khan Sahab, and there were other people in the cabinet who witnessed this”.

The former PTI leader, speaking about the mayhem that erupted in the country following Khan’s arrest on May 9, also revealed that 11 people of the PTI leadership were at his house on May 9.

He recounted that during their stay at his residence, they had been instructed to go and attack the ISI headquarters in Islamabad.

“I told those people that if they were to do any such activity from my residence, I would have to hand them to the police,” he said.

However, they said they did not want to be involved in the matter.

“Hence you first saw the condemnations, then the resignations,” Vawda said.

When asked to reveal the names of those involved in nefarious activities, Vawda said that he would not do so immediately. However, he added that a woman who had fled the country and “someone’s children” were involved.

He then said: “The day I reveal names, I will start with the two “specials” who destroyed the country’s democracy, who shook the foundations of this country, destroyed Khan’s politics, and participated in endless corruption. “Why should the holy cows be spared?” he asked.