Saturday April 13, 2024

Imran believes establishment still involved in political engineering

Imran's chief of staff admits conclusion "mainly" based on circumstantial evidence

By Ansar Abbasi
January 03, 2023
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File
PTI Chairman Imran Khan. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Imran Khan and PTI believe that the military establishment is still involved in political engineering aimed at suppressing Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

PTI leader and Imran Khan’s chief of staff Shibli Faraz when contacted on Monday lamented that the anti-PTI policies of the previous establishment are still continuing. Faraz spelled out the reasons for Imran Khan’s complaint against the present establishment. However, he admitted that their conclusion regarding the establishment’s involvement in political engineering to hurt the PTI is mainly based on circumstantial evidence.

Still, the chief of staff to the PTI chairman said that Imran Khan and the PTI would give some time to the incumbent army chief to settle down and then address the issues raised by the political party. Faraz said that there were expectations that things would immediately change but they have not changed as yet.

Shibli Faraz referred to recent efforts of uniting different Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) factions, the joining of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) by the Balochistan Awani Party (BAP) leaders, postponement of local government elections in the federal capital and alleged pressurising of some PTI leaders to abstain from Punjab chief minister’s vote of confidence as circumstantial evidence of establishment’s political engineering to the disadvantage of the PTI.

Faraz endorsed Imran Khan’s view when they talk about establishment, it refers to one person — the army chief. When asked if Imran Khan or the PTI had contacted the incumbent army chief, General Asim Munir, to directly share their concerns with the latter, he said, “We have no contact with the present army chief.”

Shibli Faraz said although with the change of commands, things should have changed by now, the PTI still wants to give the new army chief time to settle down and re-set his fielding. Faraz did not mention it but the PTI in its internal meetings expect from the army chief to make some high level changes in the ISI.

The PTI leader said that as a nation we all should learn lessons from the mistakes of the last seven decades, and give respect to the voice of the people. On Sunday, PTI Chairman Imran Khan while talking to journalists had claimed that ex-COAS General (R) Qamar Javed Bajwa’s “set-up is still working in the establishment”. Imran, without mentioning the army chief, said, “In Pakistan, the establishment is the name of one person.”

Lashing out at the establishment yet again, Imran said that three of their lawmakers were asked to remain neutral during the vote of confidence in the Punjab Assembly. “The MQM factions are being united and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) leaders are included in the PPP (to counter the PTI in the next election),” the PTI chief had added.