Imran: Gen Bajwa blocked graft cases against ‘thieves’

Imran Khan ECP cases

Says ‘I was prime minister but completely helpless ‘

Former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has accused former army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa of controlling the National Accountability Bureau, saying he blocked the conclusion of corruption cases against “thieves” during his government’s tenure.

“NAB would tell us that the cases were matured but they were not being allowed to conclude them,” the deposed premier said while addressing a lawyers’ convention via video link on Friday.

“General Bajwa was not allowing them (NAB)… he was sitting behind and would decide who should be released (from NAB custody) or suppressed,” he added.

Imran said the then opposition leader and incumbent prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif’s money laundering case was an “open and shut” one.

“His [PM Shehbaz] case was not listed for hearing… I was prime minister but I was completely helpless.”

The former PM said law of jungle was prevailing in the country “as all the thieves have gathered and now shutting down their corruption cases”.

Imran reiterated his allegations that his government was toppled by “buying conscience” of the lawmakers.

“All segments of the society are scared and the most concerning figure is that 750,000 people have left the country as they have become hopeless and lost confidence in the system after what happened in the last seven months,” he remarked.

Imran said only the rule of law can lift the country out of prevailing “quagmire” without which the country’s economy can never prosper “neither can we become an Asian tiger overnight”.

Meanwhile, at a meeting with columnists and analysts, Imran Khan said the law allowing extension in the tenure of Chief of Army Staff must be abolished.

He said former COAS Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa mocked the country by giving NRO-II [to the PDM] adding the PTI would not hold talks with the looters of billions of rupees. “Negotiations could be held only on the date of fresh elections”, he added.

He said he was expecting the new army leadership to stay ‘neutral’ adding that institution could deliver only while staying in the ambit of law. “I do not hold personal grudge against anyone, instead I am concerned about people”, he added.

He averred that those thinking assemblies would not be dissolved must wait for his Saturday’s speech adding there was no rift between Pakistan Muslim League-Q and the PTI over the matter. Talking about the date of dissolution of assemblies, he said the assemblies would be dissolved in December adding there was no way to country’s prosperity other than fresh elections.

Earlier, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q demanded seat adjustment in more than two dozen constituencies with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf before the dissolution of the Punjab Assembly.

Sources said PML-Q leader Chaudhry Moonis Elahi, the son of Punjab Chief Minister Parvez Elahi, tabled the demand at a meeting with PTI Chairman Imran Khan at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Thursday as the deadline for announcing the date for disbanding the assemblies is nearing.