Mr Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) has been targeting the retired Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa who demitted office on 29 November for “ousting” him from power and bringing in what he calls “the most corrupt parties,” which had formed the Pakistan Democratic Movement [PDM] led by the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz [PML N] and the Pakistan People’s Party [PPP].
PTI Chairman Imran Khan on December 24 claimed that former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa had a “deal” in place with ex-president Asif Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah to support his claim that corruption could not be rooted out during his government.
The logic for Mr Khan’s explanation was that as the National Accountability Bureau was under Gen (r) Bajwa’s control he could not take action against the corrupt. “There is no rule of law. Only the powerful rule this country,” he claimed.
“We found out during the last year of my government’s tenure that Gen Bajwa does not want accountability to take place,” Imran said.
He also blamed General Bajwa for the so called, “regime change operation” but which as per him backfired as he and his party became more popular with the public.
“Gen Bajwa kept thinking that the rise of PTI will decrease but that did not happen,” and alleged that the Election Commission of Pakistan was under the control of the establishment.
This is the second time after the retirement of General Bajwa that Khan has accused him of pushing him out of power.
Mr Khan however may be underestimating the controls that Pakistan Army has on the polity of the country and the honour bestowed on even retired Army Chief.
Khan’s calculations in blaming General Bajwa are possibly to consolidate support of the large middle class and the youth in the country who are against a role for the Army in politics while also appealing to generals and army personnel who are against General Bajwa as perceived by the PTI.
Khan may have overlooked the loyalty factor in the Pakistan Army which has strongly stood behind their retired Army chiefs including Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999 and faced charges of ‘treason’. However these could not be pursued in a court of law as the Army desisted the same.
One of the reasons for the Army’s resentment against former Prime Minister and present Supremo Nawaz Sharif was due to his enmity with Pervez Musharraf who had led a coup against him in 1999.
Instead of learning lessons from the past Mr Imran Khan is adopting the same route as Mr Nawaz Sharif.