The no-confidence motion against the then prime minister Imran Khan was actually the PTI versus the military, senior party Fawad Chaudhry said, which can also be construed as yet another manifestation of differences between the senior partner in the Punjab government and the PML-Q.

Continuing with the party’s tirade against former army chief, Fawad said Gen (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa was involved in overthrowing the PTI government, according to Imran Khan.

Stable governments are not toppled the way the PTI rule was wrapped up, if it wasn’t the case, Fawad said during BBC programme Hard Talk and added that everyone knew who controlled these allied parties and from whom they were taking directions.

According to the PTI leader, everyone knows that the establishment controls political parties. However, politics should have been left to politicians and political crisis leads to an economic crisis.

Fawad said the economic crisis was kicked up by unnecessarily sending the PTI government home and had emanated from, what he called, the unconstitutional removal of Imran Khan’s government.

When programme host Stephen Sackur said Pakistan’s debt stood at $116 billion when the PTI took over in 2018 but rose to $230 billion when the party left government, Fawad responded that his party’s government had to borrow funds to return the loans taken by the previous government and that Zardari and the Sharifs had put Pakistan into a vicious debt cycle.

However, Sackur said figures did not bear out his claim, referring to promises made by the PTI before elections, especially those about corruption, He said that Pakistan fell by 20 points on the corruption perception index (CPI).

The PTI leader said it was not possible to create economic stability without political stability as no one knew who would rule the country three or five months later.

About the regime change and foreign conspiracy theory, Fawad said Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States dispatched a cipher after his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu and Imran presented the same cipher.

“The PTI never said it seeks a war with the US. Instead, it wants good bilateral ties. No party wants confrontation with the US,” Fawad noted. However, at the same time the PTI doesn’t want any country including the US to dictate Pakistan.

Fawad said his party looks forward to having good relations with the US, and hoped the superpower too would like to collaborate with Pakistan’s most popular political party.

Imran never called Osama bin Laden a martyr, Fawad claimed, adding it was just a slip of the tongue, a clarification of which had been issued by the party.

“The PTI government influenced the Taliban to allow the evacuation of millions of foreigners stranded in Afghanistan,” he said.

The PTI leader also commented on the current state of affairs with the Afghan government, saying the incumbent government in Islamabad has ruined the PTI’s efforts in this regard, as they did not continue with Imran’s Afghanistan policy. “The PTI government was on the verge of resolving the issue through negotiations with the Taliban government in Afghanistan,” he said.

The PTI, he remarked, can wait for the general elections, but the government is not in the mood to hold them. Even they do not want the local bodies elections in the federal capital as the incumbent rulers know that whenever elections are held, people will kick them out, he said.

Pakistan needs elections, he said. “We want elections to take place in the country as soon as possible so that there is stability in the country and people’s problems are solved,” Fawad added.

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