Former prime minister Imran Khan has claimed that he came to know about the alleged conspiracy against his government in July last year.
Speaking in a podcast, the PTI chairman said that there were fears of a civil war in Afghanistan, therefore, he did not want the intelligence chief to be changed during those difficult times.
“I realised last summer that once the US leaves Afghanistan, there could be a civil war that could have repercussions for Pakistan. Our soldiers were being martyred, so I wanted the intelligence chief, who had served for five years already, to stay as it was the most difficult of times.”
Imran said that his move was misconstrued.
“Yet, they [the then opposition] created the impression that I wanted the former director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) General Faiz to be the next army chief,” he said.
The PTI chairman went on to say that he had also learned last year that the PML-N was planning to “re-enter” the government.
“I had already learned about it in July last year that they [the then opposition] had made a complete plan to overthrow the PTI-led government,” Imran maintained.
“That’s the reason I did not want the intelligence chief to be changed until the winter was over. It wasn’t a secret.”
He said that throughout the time he was in power, he never made a decision that deviated from the principles of merit.
“I couldn’t even think of making any decisions about the appointment of the army chief without considering merit. I would like my army to be strong. There was no such thing in mind, yet they spread rumours about my preference for Faiz Hameed as the chief of army staff.”
ALEEM, TAREEN EPISODE: During the podcast, Imran also talked about his former aides Aleem Khan and Jahangir Tareen, saying that he distanced himself from them after they sought “illegal benefits” from him.
Sharing the details of those benefits, he said: “Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi”, adding “from then onwards, I developed differences with him.”
Talking about Tareen, the PTI chairman stated that his problem was the sugar mill scandal on which a commission was also formed.
“Tareen stood with those who are the biggest dacoits in the country. When I ordered a probe into the matter, differences developed with Tareen.”