Lahore: Pakistan's ousted prime minister Imran Khan has claimed that former Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa wanted him to condemn Russia for invading Ukraine, but the then premier did not oblige him citing the example of India.
"On my return from Russia visit (a year ago being premier), Gen Bajwa asked me to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine. I told him that India, which is a strategic ally of the US, is staying neutral. So, Pakistan should stay neutral,” Khan said while talking to students and religious scholars on Monday.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief said that after his refusal, Gen Bajwa himself condemned Russia at a security seminar to appease the US.
Justifying his Russia visit, 70-year-old Khan, who was ousted from power through a no-confidence motion in April last year, said: "I went to Russia and convinced President Vladimir Putin to give wheat and fuel to Pakistan at cheaper rates as being supplied to India. With the support of Russia, India reduced its inflation from 7.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent but Pakistan’s inflation rate rose from 12 per cent to 30 per cent." Khan's maiden official visit to Moscow triggered a controversy back home as it happened the day President Putin ordered a "special military operation" against Ukraine.
The cricketer-turned-politician said Bajwa wanted him to condemn Putin to appease the United States. "But I put Pakistan's interest above," he said.
Khan has also held Gen Bajwa, the "main player", responsible for the conspiracy that resulted in his ouster from power. "Bajwa is a source of all the crises plaguing Pakistan today," he said.
Earlier, Khan described Gen Bajwa, who retired in November last year, as the "super-king" and said his three-and-a-half-year stint in the Prime Minister’s Office was more like a "puppet".
“Gen Bajwa had become an expert in everything, including economy, politics, and foreign policy. Bajwa used to get the credit for good decisions and Khan used to serve as a punching bag for every wrong decision," he lambasted.