President Arif Alvi on Monday rebutted a statement “wrongly attributed” to him regarding alleged support extended by then army chief General (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) during the 2018 general elections.
A statement issued by the President’s Office on Twitter said that the president has taken notice of the “wrongly attributed” statement, adding that it “has been quoted out of reference to the context and is twisted and self-concocted”.
“President Dr Arif Alvi has taken notice of the statement wrongly attributed to him about the alleged help extended by the former Chief of Army Staff, General (r) Qamar Javed Bajwa, and his team in the Senate, and their help to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) during the elections also,” stated the tweet.
The clarification by the President’s Office comes after a local newspaper published a report in which Alvi was quoted telling journalists, leaders of the business community, and foreign diplomats at a dinner on Saturday that “Gen (retd) Bajwa and his team” had helped PTI Chief Imran Khan in the Senate and during elections also.
The report further stated that the president said he discussed the “neutrality” of the armed forces with the army chief, adding that “if the army had left politics, it was the time politicians took charge of the situation”.
While answering a question that whether Imran at any stage thought of sacking the then army chief, the report added, that the president said “No, I don’t think so. That was a rumour”.
Alvi added that he is “still looking for an answer” as to why and when relations between Khan and Gen (retd) Bajwa soured. According to the report, the president said he had verbally suggested to both the government and opposition that a middle ground might be found and elections could be held at the end of April or in May.