Who is Major (R) Khurram Hameed Rokhri?

PTI leader Major (retired) Khurram Hameed Khan Rokhri is currently the hot topic of discussion on Pakistani social media.

After the allegation made by Rokhri, PTI distances itself from him.

Senior PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry refused to accept Khurram Rokhri as the leader of his party.

However, in a picture that went viral on social media, Chaudhry can be seen standing with Rokhri.

Commenting on this picture, Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet that ‘Hundreds of people take pictures and I don’t know who they are?’

Meanwhile, another close associate of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr Shehbaz Gill, also took a similar stand. He wrote in a tweet that ‘Who is this sir? Never seen or heard of them before.’

He further said that ‘Allah knows who will come forward as the leader of Tehreek-e-Insaf.’

Journalist Hamid Mir shared a video without naming the PTI or its leaders, in which the former prime minister and other associates of Imran Khan can be seen with Khurram Rokhri.

According to the anchor person, this video was made during a recent visit of Imran Khan to Muzaffarabad.

Hamir Mir also wrote in his tweet that ‘some kind people are asking who is Major Khurram Hameed? Someone is saying that Imran Khan has not met this man for the last one year.

He further wrote that ‘sorry! Only a few weeks ago, when Khan Sahib arrived in Muzaffarabad to address a rally, Khurram was also present along with the Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir.

Interestingly, an account with Rokhri’s name on Twitter uploaded an image of him with Fawad. It was unclear if the account belonged to the retired army officer.

Earlier, PTI leader Major (retired) Khurram Hameed Khan Rokhri revealed the timeline of “backchannel talks” between the PTI and the establishment, as he denounced former premier Imran Khan’s allegations against senior intelligence official Maj Gen Faisal Naseer.

In an interview with Hamid Mir on Geo News, Rokhri said that Gen Naseer was a “principled” and “professional man” who would never “trade his dignity to please someone”.

Rokhri is said to be among Imran’s close aides and holds a major position in PTI’s North Punjab chapter.

Earlier this week, the PTI’s senior leadership issued a show-cause notice to him for allegedly speaking in favour of Gen Naseer on a television programme.

In Thursday’s interview, Mr Rokhri recalled that a few days after Shahbaz Gill was arrested, a meeting was held in Bani Gala where it was discussed that a new officer had been posted in Islamabad with the aim to “eliminate PTI and Imran Khan’s narrative”.

“When Gen Faisal Naseer’s name was taken, I said hold on a minute. Now I know Gen Naseer the same way you know other people in Geo News or anyone in the media” he told Mr Mir.

“[PTI leader] Salman Ahmed asked me then what was the narrative… the next day they were going for a rally in Jhelum and I told Salman to tell Mr Khan this… I will cut things short here.”

“So Salman tells Mr Khan that the opinion of a close aide of yours […] about Gen Faisal Naseer […] is not the same as what people around you have. When Mr Khan asked him who was that person, Salman replied it is Maj Khurram,” he said.

Subsequently, Mr Rokhri went on, Mr Khan “told Salman to ask me to confront Gen Naseer”.

“I called Gen Naseer and told him I wanted to meet him. When I met him, I asked the general if he had been posted for this reason,” he stated. Gen Naseer told him that he was posted the day Gen Sarfaraz was martyred, some 20 days back, he said.

“I am a professional man… why would I want to do this… Imran Khan is the leader of the biggest political party of Pakistan… he is a hero of the country… why would I want this. And if someone is telling Imran this, please go and tell him that there is nothing as such,” Mr Rokhri quoted the general as saying.

Mr Rokhri then said that he asked the officer to meet the PTI leadership. “To this, he said that he was sitting on a constitutional seat and meeting political leadership was his job.”

The estranged PTI leader claimed that he conveyed this conversation to the party leadership after which he was instructed to “bridge the gap” and hold another meeting with Gen Naseer.

Rokhri also claimed that in the second meeting, the intelligence officer said that the institution valued the people and the leader they elected. “Gen Naseer assured me that there would be no roadblocks from his side and requested to not defame the military leadership on the stage.”

A third meeting was held as well, where the former major was accompanied by Salman Ahmed as Imran Khan’s spokesperson, he continued, adding that both he and Salman wanted to “reduce friction” between the party and the establishment.

“We wanted to go towards elections so that Imran wins by a two-thirds majority. Imran Khan’s real power is the vote,” Mr Rokhri pressed, revealing that suspended party leader Faisal Vawda was trying to do the same thing.

Mr Rokhri further revealed that after the third meeting, it was decided that talks would be taken forward and a meeting should be held between Imran and “those he is naming today”.

“I received a message from the personages, those who have been accused, that we will hold a meeting. They said that they didn’t want Imran to come or that such things go in public… they said they trusted me and asked me to keep the points [for negotiation] in front of them.”

After this, Rokhri said he was called to Mr Khan’s residence in Islamabad twice, but due to “other meetings” the PTI chief couldn’t meet him. “When they called me the third time, I refused.”

Raja Furqan Ahmed

Raja Furqan Ahmed is the News Editor of The Pakistan Daily.

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