Former prime minister Imran Khan on Wednesday reiterated the unsubstantiated claims of his ouster having been instigated by a “U.S.-backed” conspiracy, rebutting a statement of military spokesman Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar in which he had stressed that is no evidence of any kind of foreign plot.
The director-general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), during an interview with a private broadcaster on Tuesday, issued the latest of several denials of Khan’s allegations, saying that the entire military leadership had attended the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting that had determined there was no conspiracy.
“[They were] briefed that there was no conspiracy or evidence of any kind [against the government], nothing like that happened. Participants were told in detail that there was no evidence of any conspiracy,” he added.
Since his TV appearance, the PTI has been ramping up efforts to rebut his denials, with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Asad Umar and Shireen Mazari both saying this was merely his opinion. Reiterating their calls for the formation of a judicial commission to investigate the “foreign conspiracy” allegations, they said this was the only way to solve the impasse.
Umar further said he believed it would “be better for the Army and the country if the ISPR director-general didn’t find it necessary to interpret political affairs again and again.” Mazari, meanwhile, termed Iftikhar’s denial of Khan’s allegations as “unacceptable,” and implied that the “foreign conspiracy” had been “facilitated” by the security establishment.
During a public interaction on social media, the ousted prime minister doubled down on his party leaders’ statements and questioned how the DG ISPR could decide whether a conspiracy was hatched or not. “He [DG ISPR] can only explain his point of view but can’t decide himself, therefore if you want to probe the ‘lettergate’ conspiracy, ask the chief justice of Pakistan to probe and decide it,” he said.
Khan recalled that he had decided to form a commission to probe the conspiracy behind the no-trust motion, but it had been unable to get started before his government was ousted.