Former minister in Imran Khan’s government, Shireen Mazari, said the military sought the meeting with the PTI chief through ex-defense minister Pervez Khattak. The army, Mazari said, had made three proposals to Khan: dismissal, a vote of no confidence or its withdrawal and then new elections.
“Let me be clear – I declare officially (that the former) Prime Minister has not called military personnel for help in breaking the political deadlock,” Mazari posted on Twitter. “Why would Imran Khan give the option to resign if he had already categorically and repeatedly stated that he would never resign? Does not make any sense! Also, Imran Khan had categorically rejected VNC (voice of no confidence) as a conspiracy of foreign regimes. So why would he suggest these options. Absurd!” Mazari added.
A day earlier, Pakistani army spokesman Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had claimed at a press conference that it was in fact the prime minister’s office that the army chief had approached to find a solution to the political deadlock.
“It is a pity that our political leadership was not ready to talk to each other. So the army chief and the DG ISI went to the prime minister’s office and three scenarios were discussed,” General Iftikhar said, adding that the third option – withdraw the vote of no confidence and then dissolve the meetings – was acceptable to the former Prime Minister. The general also stated that nothing less than Khan’s removal by voting on a vote of no confidence was acceptable to his political opponents.
Pakistan’s political crisis had worsened last month after the joint opposition tabled a no-confidence vote against Khan. Khan had lost a majority in the National Assembly after his government’s main allies deserted and joined the opposition.