Imran writes to Alvi demanding ‘immediate inquiry’ against Gen Bajwa

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Former prime minister Imran Khan on Thursday asked President Arif Alvi to “institute an immediate inquiry” against retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa for violating “his oath of office repeatedly” as the army chief.

In a letter dated Feb 14, Imran listed four ways in which the former army chief allegedly violated the Constitution, while also referring to Gen Bajwa’s alleged remarks published in a column by Javed Chaudhry as purported evidence for his claim.

PTI leader Shireen Mazari also announced her party chief’s move on her Twitter account, sharing pictures of the said letter.

Citing Chaudhry’s column, Imran wrote that Gen Bajwa had “admitted to journalist Javed Chaudhry that ‘we’ considered Imran Khan [to be] dangerous to the country if he continued to stay in power”.

He added that it would be “critical to ascertain” from Gen Bajwa that who did he refer to as “we”. The former premier raised the question, “Who gave him (Gen Bajwa) the power to decide that an elected prime minister (Imran) was supposedly a ‘danger to the country if he continued to stay in power’?”

The PTI chief asserted: “Only the people through elections can decide who they want to elect as the prime minister. Taking such a right on himself is in clear violation of his oath as given in Third Schedule Article 244 of the Constitution.”

Imran then listed Gen Bajwa’s alleged admission that he “managed to get NAB (National Accountability Bureau) case against Shaukat Tarin dismissed”.

He claimed this revealed that the NAB was under the former army chief’s “control”, which was “again a clear violation of the Constitutional oath because the army itself is a department under the Ministry of Defence and civilian official autonomous institutions (NAB) do not come [under] military control”.

The former premier then went on to refer to a YouTube vlog made by journalist Aftab Iqbal. He said according to Iqbal, “Gen Bajwa told him (Iqbal) in conversation that he had tapes of then-PM Imran Khan’s conversations with him”.

The PTI chairman called it a “serious violation” of the former army chief’s oath as well as of his own fundamental human rights. “The question is why and under what authorisation was Gen Bajwa recording confidential conversations?” he asked.

The development comes as the latest in the long-time acrimony between Imran and Gen Bajwa, who once claimed they were on the “same page”. The cracks in the former premier and ex-army chief’s relationship came to the fore after the PTI government’s ouster in April last year.