Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman claims Generals Faiz and Bajwa led the no-confidence move against Imran

On Thursday, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that former army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ex-spymaster Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who was then the Peshawar corps commander, had provided guidance to all political parties regarding the no-confidence vote against former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the PTI government.

In April 2022, Pakistan witnessed, for the first time in its history, the ousting of a prime minister through a no-confidence vote. The efforts for the PTI founder’s removal were spearheaded by the opposition at that time.

In response, the PTI accused the then-ruling authorities of colluding with the US and orchestrating a regime change conspiracy to topple Imran’s government. They blamed the military, led by retired Gen Bajwa at the time, for allowing the alleged conspiracy to proceed. However, the US denied any interference.

In a revealing interview on Samaa TV’s program ‘Nadeem Malik Live’, the JUI-F chief elaborated on the events surrounding the no-confidence vote, stating, “They (Gen Bajwa and Gen Faiz) were in contact with all political parties regarding the no-confidence motion and they told us the way of going about it.”

When asked whether the move was instigated by the two generals, Fazlur Rehman affirmed, adding that ultimately, both the PPP and the PML-N supported the motion. He explained, “I was not in favor of the no-confidence move. Just for my friends, I sacrificed my opinion.”

Rehman emphasized his preference for proceeding with the “power of the movement,” noting the PPP’s leadership in the no-confidence motion. He claimed, “Gen Faiz had come to me and asked me to go ahead with the no-confidence vote, but only within the system, not outside of it. Although I refused.”

He further explained that he changed his stance once representatives from various parties approached him for joint action, stating, “If I had refused again, they would say I am saving Imran.”

Rehman insisted that all political parties were convened in the presence of the two generals, who allegedly provided directions on the matter.

It is noteworthy that Gen Faiz was replaced as the Inter-Services Intelligence director-general by Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmed Anjum in October 2021 and posted as the Peshawar corps commander.

Regarding the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Rehman clarified that it was not merely a political or electoral alliance but a movement founded on common principles, despite differences.

When asked about Shehbaz Sharif’s emergence in the PM race, Rehman said he was unconcerned because he had taken his position, hence no need to discuss it.

Regarding the possibility of discussions with the PTI, he stated that a decision would be made after their delegation engaged in talks with him.

Rehman asserted that the recent general elections were unfair, stating, “The election has been stolen, all of it … There are stories that can’t be told on the media … we have clearly rejected it and we will start a campaign against it.”

He reiterated that the JUI-F was the only party maintaining there was rigging in both the 2018 and 2024 elections.

Asked about his statement regarding last year’s May 9 riots, Rehman said, “If the establishment’s narrative is that the elections are fair then it means the narrative on May 9 has been buried and people have voted for traitors in Pakistan.” He clarified that his grievance was with the establishment.

Rehman’s remarks triggered reactions in political circles, with his former allies in the PDM-led government and the PTI both commenting on the allegations he made.

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