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By blaming Bajwa for plotting his removal with the help of foreign powers, is Imran Khan accusing the Army Chief of treason?

Is Imran Khan charging Bajwa of treason by accusing him of plotting his overthrow with the support of foreign powers?

Finally, the gloves are off  after Pakistan’s former Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan trained his guns directly at Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa  and the judiciary for supporting the US conspiracy in toppling his government. 

Addressing his election rally in Mardan—a city in the Peshawar valley—Khan, asserted in reference to Gen. Bajwa that  “now everyone knows the neutrals were not actually neutral.” In fact, he questioned whether they (Bajwa and the military establishment) were "part of the conspiracy to derail Pakistan on the economic and democratic front”. He tried to rouse the crowds by saying how could one stay neutral when the country was facing destruction.

Khan claimed that he has been getting calls from Bajwa and his generals but he has blocked their numbers as he is not ready to talk to them. The rift between the two appears irreversible.

Khan blamed people who supported the "conspiracy" whether they were not worried about Pakistan's future. "It would have been better to drop an atom bomb on Pakistan than to have these people in power."

Khan said that he had warned the military establishment  that the "fragile economic recovery would go into a tailspin" if the conspiracy against his government succeeded.

"It would have been better to drop an atom bomb on Pakistan than to have these people in power,” Geo TV quoted him as saying. 

Talking about his relationship with his “selector” military establishment headed by Bajwa, Khan said it was “good” till the issue of former ISI chief Lt General Faiz Hameed  came up. Khan admitted that he needed his blue-eyed general to continue as the ISI chief, in order  to thwart the opposition's foreign conspiracy against Pakistan.

“I wanted Faiz as the Inter-Services Intelligence chief till the winters, given the situation in Afghanistan and due to the opposition's plot against me. But the ‘neutrals’ did not play their role to block the way of conspirators,” Dawn quoted Khan as saying. 

The former Premier made it clear that he has high regards for the military establishment but being “neutral,” they have done more damage to the country. 

“This is the most bizarre anti-army movement in the country’s history. While past movements have been against the army’s interference in politics beyond its constitutional ambit, this one is protesting against the army’s lack of interference and withdrawal of support for one party,” says Pakistani journalist Talat Aslam in his post.

Last week the Pakistani military establishment had warned Khan, his supporters and others to refrain from campaigning against their leadership.

“Pakistan Armed Forces take strong exception to such unlawful and unethical practice and expect all to abide by the law and keep the Armed Forces out of political discourse in the best interest of the country,” it said in a statement.

The all- powerful Pakistani army has ruled Pakistan for almost half of its history and played a behind -the- scene role in sending home various elected governments.

In a first of its kind of “hybrid” project, the army ‘“installed” Imran Khan as the prime minister in 2018 but differences started cropping up when Khan insisted on making Kashmir the centrepiece of his foreign policy—an approach rejected by the Army which already had its hands full in Balochistan.  

Experts believe that despite Khan’s ongoing provocations, generals of the Pakistani military establishment have not taken the bait yet though they seem to worry and probably do not know how to handle their rogue ‘puppet” as Imran Khan continues to push the limits.

Also Read: Imran Khan’s blue-eyed ex-ISI chief Faiz Hameed cornered, says former Pak president Asif Ali Zardari