Wanted to retain Gen Faiz to counter winter attacks, says Imran Khan

Former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday revealed that he wanted to retain Lieutenant General (retired) Faiz Hameed as the chief of Pakistan’s powerful spy branch to counter an expected increase in militant attacks in the winter of 2021-22, and that the matter later went on to unravel the one-page with the military.

He said this on Wednesday while addressing PTI workers via video link.

The PTI chief said he and former army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa were on the same page. But admitted to developing differences on two major issues.

The first, Imran claimed, cropped up immediately after Gen Bajwa got an extension in his tenure.

Imran alleged that the former army chief wanted to give an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the then opposition comprising the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Secondly, Imran claimed that General (retired) Bajwa wanted to appoint the head of the powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of his choice.

“I wanted to retain General (retired) Faiz Hameed as director general of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to counter winter attacks [from militants],” says Imran Khan.

“I wanted the best player to retain the DG ISI slot,” he said.

He said after the Afghan Taliban took over [in Kabul], his government tried to make contact with Kabul because the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were operating in the tribal areas.

He alleged that incumbent government had made funny and insensitive statements about the tribal areas because they lacked an understanding about the tribal districts.

He conceded to parlaying with terrorists for ensuring peace in the tribal areas but defended the move as the only pathway to sustainable peace.

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