ISLAMABAD: The explosive claims made by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pertaining to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan’s ouster in 2022 via a no-confidence vote have triggered a debate and raised questions over the facts he shared in the interview. During an interview with a private TV channel on Thursday, Fazl claimed that the no-trust move against the PTI government was tabled on the directives of ex-army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa and former spymaster Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid. A multi-party alliance led by Fazlur Rehman — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — had tabled the no-confidence motion in March 2022 which was passed by the National Assembly the next month, paving the way for a coalition government headed by Shehhaz Sharif of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). Sources on Friday revealed that Fazl referred to the meeting with General Bajwa on March 26, 2022, and at that time, Hamid was neither serving in the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) nor was part of the meeting. The sources also revealed that the JUI-F chief met with Gen Bajwa and ISI Director-General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum along with Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other leaders. The meeting was conducted at ISI Mess Margalla Road in Islamabad, said the sources, adding that Lt Gen (retd) Hamid was then posted as corps commander in Peshawar. The huddle also included Balochistan National Party (BNP) President Akhtar Mengal, Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) leader Shahzain Bugti, and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) leader Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui. The sources revealed that Gen Bajwa had asked the opposition leaders to withdraw the no-confidence motion against the PTI founder. “An offer was made that if the no-trust motion is withdrawn, the then-prime minister will resign and announce elections,” the sources added. However, the sources said that during the meeting, Bilawal and Fazl opposed the proposal. The then-PDM chief claimed in the interview that “I was personally against the no-confidence move […] but if I had said no despite the insistence of other parties, then an impression would’ve been given that I ‘saved’ the PTI founder”.Fazl also said: “While the PPP was running the movement for a no-confidence motion, Lt Gen (retd) Faiz Hamid told me that I could do whatever I wanted, but within the system.” The JUI-F chief said Hamid told him that he could not “do anything outside the system” — meaning that every move should be made inside the parliament, not on the streets. “But I rejected his directions,” he said but noted that later on, the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), MQM-P, and others left the PTI-led government. “When they said that [the anti-PTI] is now in the majority, I had to agree with them otherwise it would’ve been said that I helped save Imran Khan,” the JUI-F chief, who has rejected February 8 election results, said.



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