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Friday June 14, 2024

I’m not convinced about US conspiracy: President Arif Alvi

President Alvi raised suspicions about the PTI’s narrative of US conspiracy and called for an investigation into the matter, as he isn’t “convinced” of the idea

By Our Correspondent/ News Desk
October 11, 2022
President Arif Alvi speaking to a private news channel in an exclusive interview on October 10, 2022. Screengrab of a Twitter video
President Arif Alvi speaking to a private news channel in an exclusive interview on October 10, 2022. Screengrab of a Twitter video

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi Monday raised suspicions about the PTI’s narrative of US conspiracy and called for an investigation into the matter, as he isn’t “convinced” of the idea.

In an interview with a news channel, President Alvi said he was not convinced that the United States had lodged a conspiracy (to oust Imran). “The letter [foreign cipher] has been sent to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial and investigation should be held in this regard,” he said.

Imran had brandished a “threat letter”, which was said to be the cipher, on March 27 in a public gathering before his ouster, claiming that his government had been threatened by the US and the then opposition was involved in the conspiracy. However, the government as well as the United States have rejected the allegations.

Commenting on the former prime minister, the president said Imran became frustrated after the PTI’s ouster in April asserting that the party chief should be held answerable for his current statements.

“It was Khan’s decision to boycott the assembly proceeding [...] had he asked me, I would have suggested something else,” Alvi said. Alvi cited two major issues at hand — the economic crisis and general elections — while endorsing the idea of a dialogue among all the stakeholders.

The president clarified that he wasn’t a “broker”; however, he would still want the leaders to reach a consensus on the dwindling economy. Regarding the army, Alvi said that the institution should remain “neutral”, but refrained from elaborating on the term “neutral”.

Talking to another news channel, Alvi said he would approve the appointment of the next COAS in line with the procedure laid out in the Constitution. He said in the past too, the opposition was consulted on the appointment of the army chief. A similar discussion with the then opposition was held when PTI chief Imran Khan extended the three-year term of General Qamar Javed Bajwa in 2019, the president pointed out.

In 2019, he said, the National Assembly approved a law to extend Gen Bajwa’s terms after questions were raised before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Alvi has been constantly backing the idea of grand dialogue between the political parties, as he believes issues can be resolved through dialogue.

In response to a question on bridging the gap between the incumbent government and PTI, Alvi said he was impartial as the president of the country and that his affiliation with the PTI was a thing of the past. “The party is my past. It is a very good past.” The president said there were several problems in the country that even “a maverick” could not solve alone. A president could only make efforts to bridge that gulf, he stated.