Imran Khan, the former prime minister and current chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, claims to have learned of the purported plot against his administration in July of last year.
The PTI chairman added in a podcast that there were worries of a civil war in Afghanistan, thus he didn’t want the intelligence head to be replaced during those trying times.
“Last summer, I realised that if the US departs Afghanistan, a civil war may erupt, with ramifications for Pakistan. Because our soldiers were being martyred, I wanted the intelligence chief, who had already served for five years, to stay, as it was a particularly trying time.”
Khan said that his action was misinterpreted.
“Yet they [the then Opposition] gave the idea that I wanted General Faiz, the former director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to be the next army chief,” he explained.
Last year, the PTI chairman also discovered that the PML-N was going to “re-enter” government.
“I had previously known about it in July last year,” Khan said, “that they [the erstwhile Opposition] had devised a comprehensive plot to destabilise the PTI-led administration.”
“That’s why I didn’t want the intelligence chief to be replaced until after the winter. It wasn’t hidden.”
He said that during his tenure in power, he never made a judgement that was contrary to the standards of merit.
“I couldn’t imagine making any judgments on the army chief’s appointment without considering merit. I want my army to be powerful. They created rumours about my desire for Faiz Hameed as chief of army staff despite the fact that I had no such intention.”
Khan also discussed his former aides Aleem Khan and Jahangir Tareen on the podcast, stating that he cut ties with them after they sought “illegal rewards” from him.
“Aleem Khan expected me to legalise his 300-acre land near Ravi,” Khan said of the perks, adding, “from then onwards, I had conflicts with him.”
When asked about Tareen, the PTI chairman responded that his issue was the sugar mill scam, which prompted the formation of a panel.
“Tareen stood among the country’s most notorious criminals. When I requested an investigation into the situation, Tareen and I disagreed.”