- Sep 26, 2018
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Incidentally, the evidence shared by former army chief Gen Bajwa was collected by Lt Gen Faiz Hameed
Months before Gen Asim Munir apprised former PM Imran Khan about the activities of Bushra Bibi and Farah Khan, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa handed a dossier to Khan about the alleged corrupt practices of former Punjab CM Usman Buzdar and Ahsan Gujar. Sources say Imran opted to remain silent instead of taking action against the accused chief minister and Gujar, who happens to be Farah Khan’s husband; Farah is seen as a close confidante of Bushra Bibi.
Incidentally, the evidence shared by former army chief Gen Bajwa was collected by Faiz Hameed when the latter was the DG (C) in the ISI. According to a source privy to the incident, Lt Gen Faiz thought there was no point in informing Khan since the former PM would likely not pay attention to such activities if they were related to people allied with him. Gen Bajwa, on the other hand, was determined to share the details since reportedly he had from the beginning been sceptical of Buzdar as a choice for the CM slot.
Per the same source, when Gen Bajwa shared the evidence with Khan, he had said that Buzdar was not only incompetent, but that he and his family — together with Gujar — were involved in corruption. This was not the end of the discussion either. Reportedly, Gen Bajwa asked Khan not to ask where the corruption money finally ended up. “Please don’t ask me further as you will be embarrassed”, the source quotes the former army chief telling Khan -- with an oblique reference to two ladies. Khan didn’t enquire further.
When Gen Asim Munir, as ISI DG, decided to share his information with then-PM Khan, he first consulted Gen Bajwa. Initially, it was decided that they would both hold a meeting with Khan to share the evidence with him and request him to keep his family away from a certain property tycoon. However, with Gen Bajwa away on a visit, Gen Asim told the details to Khan in the former’s absence. According to reports, Khan was furious and, on Gen Bajwa’s return, complained to him. Khan was determined to remove Gen Asim from office at all costs. Subsequently, Gen Asim Munir was removed from office only eight months after his appointment as the DG of ISI. There wasn’t even a wait for a working day to make the announcement; it was Sunday when Gen Asim’s transfer was notified. Instead of setting his own house in order, Imran Khan was also insistent on the army’s role in arresting his political opponents and would reportedly often refer to the example of Gen Pervez Musharraf. By then, he was interested in Khawaja Asif being arrested and wanted a treason case registered against him. Responding to this, Gen Bajwa would say that Musharraf was the chief executive of the country and could use such power and that he (Gen Bajwa) was the army chief and did not have power to do that.
Gen Asim was not receptive to Khan’s demand either. Instead, he recommended a working relationship with political opponents for a smoother functioning of the government. However, reining in the opposition was Khan’s top concern. His wishes were only addressed when Lt Gen Faiz Hameed was appointed DG of ISI; the arrests of PML-N and PPP leaders started around that time. Meanwhile, Khan managed to get a clean chit for his ministers (Shaukat Tarin and Pervez Khattak) and his principal secretary (Azam Khan) from NAB through Lt Gen Faiz.
Khan’s grip on the accountability apparatus eroded again after the exit of Lt Gen Faiz from the ISI. The former prime minister tried to persuade Let-Gen Faiza’s successor, incumbent ISI DG Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum. In the interview Khan conducted with three lieutenant generals to select the new ISI chief, he had asked what they thought was the biggest issue of Pakistan. On his turn, Lt-Gen Anjum is said to have rated the economy as the biggest issue. Khan corrected him. In his view, the opposition was the biggest issue of Pakistan -- and must be handled sternly.
ISLAMABAD: Months before Gen Asim Munir apprised former PM Imran Khan about the activities of Bushra Bibi and Farah Khan, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa handed a dossier to Khan about the alleged corrupt...