Friday March 31, 2023

‘Lies and half-truths’ were said: Imran

About offering an indefinite extension to COAS, PTI leader said he was quoted “out of context”

By News Desk
October 30, 2022
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. —AFP
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan. —AFP

LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has rejected the recent joint press conference by the ISI and ISPR DGs as “foolish, sad”, claiming that they only told “lies and half-truths”. About offering an indefinite extension to Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, the PTI leader said he was quoted “out of context”, but it would be very embarrassing for them if he spelt out the details of the conversation.

He said he finds the remarks regarding praise and criticism of the COAS very childish as we would always appreciate them for good work and criticise when they are wrong.

During an interview with BBC Urdu, he dubbed the ISI-ISPR DGs’ media event as “very sad”, saying he could respond but that would be very embarrassing for the army and the enemies would take benefit from it.

Denying making an extension offer to Gen Bajwa, he said he was quoted out of context. Had they been fair, they should have told the whole context of the communication rather than “lies and half-truths”. Khan also came down hard on the question of his inherent contradictions regarding Gen Bajwa whom he used to praise profusely and later began to strongly criticise him. The PTI leader said it is childish behaviour as we would praise the institution when they do something good and criticise when they do not.

Clarifying that his party’s victory in the 2018 general election and forming the government was not the outcome of the establishment’s blessings, the PTI chairman insisted that he did not want to return to power with their approval. Regarding the objectives of the long march, he said it was aimed at achieving free and fair elections and having an independent foreign policy free of dictation from outside powers. He said he did not want Pakistan to lose 80,000 people because it was asked to carry out a campaign against the war on terror. Similarly, we do not want to be dictated if we want to purchase cheaper oil from Russia like India.

On free elections, he said the PTI government laid out legislation to conduct the next elections with electronic voting machines, but the whole concept was thrown out of the window by the two big parties that took foreign diktat. He predicted that a large number of people would turn out in Islamabad like never before.

Khan said he also wanted the supremacy of law as there was the law of jungle in the country. He said he wanted Gen Bajwa to take action against officers who tortured PTI senator Azam Swati to protect the army’s image.