Defence Minister Khawaja Asif slammed PTI Chairman Imran Khan on March 24 for “flirting” with the American government after accusing it of conspiracy and claimed that the former prime minister’s “cult following would soon fizzle out”.
The minister passed these remarks during a conversation with foreign media correspondents in Islamabad today. The interaction comes as Pakistan grapples with multiple crises on the political and economical front.
Asif began the press conference by pointing out the “hypocrisy” of the incumbent setup’s arch-rival Imran. “His political journey started with a cypher — in which he had accused the US of conspiring against the PTI government.
“And today, Shireen Mazari has written a letter to the US for him […] the country he once accused of conspiracy … he is now seeking help from them,” he stated.
Asif claimed that the series of events that have taken place after the vote of no-confidence “shows the total sum of Imran’s journey — his dismissal from the government and now his SOS to the US for help”.
He stated that Imran’s lies had surfaced in front of everyone during the past few years. “He was accusing the US of conspiring against him, even taking names, but now he is once again flirting with the American government through lobbyists and approaching them for some sort of aid and help.”
“His utterances are completely irrational … perhaps his followers do believe him but most people have lost track of whatever he says,” the minister said, referring to Imran’s supporters as “cult followers”.
‘Imran has offered to talk to the establishment, not govt’
In response to a question, the minister stated that for the past year, the government had been trying to reach a consensus on economic policies but the offers were rejected.
“He has offered to talk to the military leadership several times, but not the political leadership. Despite the fact that the present government was willing to talk on so many occasions, Imran kept on insisting and went to the extent of trying to approach the present leadership of the Pakistan Army.”
Before that, Asif went on to say, the PTI chief approached former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa multiple times through the president and even offered him an extension.