Thursday July 25, 2024

MQM also had asked Gen Bajwa where to go

Sources say Farogh Nasim had contacted Gen Bajwa for guidance but was advised to "do what suits MQM, its politics"

By Ansar Abbasi
December 08, 2022
Pakistans former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrives to attend a Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2019. — AFP
Pakistan's former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa arrives to attend a Pakistan Day parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2019. — AFP 

ISLAMABAD: Early this year, the MQM had also contacted former Army Chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa for the latter’s guidance about the political side Muttahida was required to choose at the time of no-confidence motion moved against the-then prime minister Imran Khan.

Sources said that Farogh Nasim had contacted Gen Bajwa for his guidance but the latter advised him to do what suits the MQM and its politics.

Farogh Nasim did not attend the call when approached. However, a senior MQM leader, on condition of not being named, confirmed that the party had contacted former Army Chief, who told them to decide whatever suits the party and its politics.

Of late, Punjab Chief Minister Pervaiz Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi had said that they had contacted the former Army Chief on the issue of no-confidence move against Imran Khan and they were told that they should side with Imran Khan and PTI. There has been no rebuttal issued as yet from the former Army Chief about the claim of PMLQ top leadership though some sources close to him had recently said that what Moonis Elahi had said was out of context interpretation of what they had discussed.

Interestingly, Imran Khan has also said repeatedly during the recent months that he had also asked the former Army Chief to save his government from opposition’s no-confidence move. Regarding the claims of PMLQ leaders, Khan recently said in a TV interview that Pervaiz Elahi faction of the PMLQ might have been told to side with PTI whereas, he believed, the other faction led by Chaudhry Shujaat would have been told to join his opponents.

Khan blamed Bajwa of playing a double game but Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi insisted that the former Army Chief did not play any double game. The Punjab chief minister said that Bajwa never contacted Ch Shujaat Hussain during those days. Later in a TV talk show, Ch Shujaat also confirmed that he was never contacted by Gen (retd) Bajwa during those days.

On May 10 this year, The News reported that during the last days of his government, Imran Khan had asked the military establishment to contact his then coalition partners – the PMLQ, MQM and BAP – and ask them not to leave the government.

However, this request was not heeded because of the military establishment’s decision that it would stay away from political matters. Khan expected the military establishment to prevent his government’s coalition partners from siding with the opposition’s no-trust move. When this was not done, it was very upsetting for Imran Khan, who in the past had enjoyed an unprecedented support of the military establishment. After most of his coalition partners decided to support the-then opposition’s no-trust motion against his government, the-then prime minister had contacted the top military leadership through his defence minister Pervez Khattak to discuss the available options for a possible agreement with the opposition.

While Imran Khan and some of his party leaders had insisted that the options were brought to Khan by the army chief and DG ISI, the other side insisted that the military leadership had not brought the opposition’s options to the-then government; rather, the civilian government (basically defence minister Pervez Khattak) had telephoned the top brass and asked for a meeting to discuss the ongoing political scenario. Following Pervez Khattak’s telephonic request, the former Army Chief and the DG ISI had met Prime Minister Imran Khan. In their meeting, three options were mutually discussed between the civilian and military leadership to save the no-trust but the opposition had only agreed to the option of resignation of the PM and dissolution of the National Assembly. Khan was not prepared for this.