ISLAMABAD – The Chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has created a new controversy and series of statements from national leaders by demanding to include Military Intelligence (MI) and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to probe polls rigging.
Khan’s new demand was not taken as lightly by many including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) whose Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar termed it as ‘an attempt to malign institutes’.
Khan while putting forward this demand said “Government and Nawaz Sharif must decide whether to comply or not as earlier as November 30. After that day I will decide what to do next. During the negotiation process PML-N government agreed to take help from institutes if deemed necessary at any point.”
Later, the Vice Chairman of PTI Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was actually leading the PTI delegation during the negotiation process, also confirmed Khan’s statement. “Government agreed that institutions could be consulted for probe,” he said.
Not to forget that before starting the Azadi March in August, Imran Khan blatantly claimed in a press conference from Lahore that he had evidence of involvement of one MI’s Brigadier in the polls rigging. Khan also vowed to reveal that Brigadier’s name but never even mentioned it again. Now Khan’s demand of including MI to probe election fraud has somewhat turned his old statement upside down.
However, Ishaq Dar rejected this notion and said “There is no such possibility. Even if Prime Minister wants to do the same, the law does not allow it.” He reiterated that government can only form a judicial commission for the probe.
Pakistan’s famous lawyer and legal expert Asma Jehangir also criticized the Khan’s demand and said “Perhaps Imran Khan has a misunderstanding about the role of the premier intelligence agencies in the elections. He is asking for their involvement in the rigging investigation even though the agencies have a blemished past — a proven fact in the shape of Oct 19, 2012, Supreme Court judgement in the Asghar Khan case.”
PakistanTribe‘s correspondent contacted one media person – former anchor of Geo News believed to be closed to military establishment – to know the standing of military over this new turn. The media person (name kept anonymous on demand) said “The way both sides (PTI and PML-N) dragged military over ‘facilitation’ episode, it irked the top guns. I do not believe they will agree to get involve in any such matter once again.”