Imran Khan Says Conspiracy Is Being Hatched By His Opponents For Clash Between PTI And Pakistan Army

Pakistan: ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum said on Thursday that Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was given a ‘lucrative offer’ in March by the then government led by Imran Khan amidst the political turmoil.

Imran Khan

Pakistan's ousted prime minister Imran Khan on Tuesday turned his guns at the political opponents, accusing them of conspiring for a clash between his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and the powerful army.

Khan, who has announced that his objective was to gain Haqeeqi Azadi (real freedom) through the march which in his words was possible if free and fair polls are held immediately, also said that he was not against the establishment of the country

Addressing his supporters in Gujranwala on the start of the fifth day of his protest march, Khan kept up his trademark vitriolic attack against his political opponents - former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari.

"They are conspiring for a clash between the PTI, which is the biggest political party of the country, and the military," Khan alleged.

"Nawaz Sharif, I challenge you, when you come back, I will beat you in your own constituency," he said.

He warned the former three-time prime minister that when he returns to Pakistan, "we will take you to Adiala jail from the airport".

Khan also targeted former president and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Zardari, saying he should "get ready" for his arrival in Sindh - the traditional bastion of the Bhutto-Zardari family.

"Zardari listen carefully, I am coming to Sindh,” he added.

Sharif has mocked Khan for his long march turnout, saying the party could not even gather 2,000 people while claiming that it would amass one million protesters.

"The reason for the indifference of the people is the evil lies," Sharif tweeted on Monday night.

He alleged that Khan had consistently lied so much that the spy agency Inter-Services Intelligence chief was "forced to break his silence and tell the truth to the nation".

Sharif said he had informed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to not listen to any of Kha’s demands, no matter how many people he brought.

ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum said on Thursday that Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was given a "lucrative offer" in March by the then government led by Khan amidst the political turmoil.

Khan admitted that he offered an extension in the tenure of the Army chief but said he will remain "silent" as he does not want to "damage" the country and its institutions.

Khan, who came to power in 2018 with promises to create a ‘Naya Pakistan’, apparently lost support of the powerful Army after he refused to endorse the appointment of the ISI chief last year.

Finally, Khan agreed but it soured his ties with the army, which has ruled the coup-prone country for more than half of its 75 years of existence and has hitherto wielded considerable power in the matters of security and foreign policy.

Separately, former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that the protesters would spend the entire day in Gujranwala.

He said the decision to slow down the trek to Islamabad was made to prevent accidents with "thousands of people walking alongside the caravan".

Chaudhry also announced that the schedule of the march has been changed and it would not be able to reach Islamabad even by Sunday. The original plan was to reach the capital on Friday. According to the new plan, the march would reach Jhelum by Sunday.

He also criticised the government for increased security measures in the national capital and claimed it had deployed at least 30,000 security personnel and released a large sum of funds to deal with the party's march.

Meanwhile, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has accused Khan of “openly inviting the army to overthrow the government” and to interfere in politics.

She was reacting to Khan's speech on Monday night when he said that he would prefer martial law be imposed in the country than the incumbent government.

The minister said that only "humiliation and disgrace" are written in Khan’s fate, calling him a "foreign-funded fitna (disturbance)" and a "coward who is only playing tricks".

Also, PPP leader Shazia Marri said in Karachi that Khan wants to see bloodshed and his statement about martial law shows his frustration. "We condemn the remarks,” she said.

Khan was earlier this month disqualified from membership of the current National Assembly by a five-member panel of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) headed by its chief Sikandar Sultan Raja.

He has been demanding early elections and he is leading the long march towards Islamabad to force his demands. The term of the National Assembly will end in August 2023 and fresh elections should be held within 60 days.

Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, has talked about a 'threat letter' from the US and claimed that it was part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. The US has bluntly rejected the allegations.