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EXCLUSIVE | End of Road for Imran Khan? As Govt Vs Army Tug-of-War Intensifies, Pak PM Has 2 Options

By: Manoj Gupta

CNN-News18

Last Updated: November 15, 2021, 07:53 IST

New Delhi

Tensions between Imran Khan and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa are at its peak. (Image: News18 Hindi)

Tensions between Imran Khan and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa are at its peak. (Image: News18 Hindi)

Sources say tensions fuelled by the appointment of a new chief for the country's spy agency ISI have initiated a path for Imran Khan: to go.

After tensions between the PTI government and Pakistani army fuelled by the appointment of a new chief for the country’s spy agency ISI, sources say the military is plotting to remove Prime Minister Imran Khan from his post.

Lt General Nadeem Anjum is scheduled to take over as DG (ISI) on November 20. However, tensions between Imran Khan and army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa are at its peak, as the former is still in favour of retaining incumbent ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.

ALSO READ | Pak Army Fuelling Tension Between TLP & Imran Khan Govt to Put PM on ‘Back Foot’?

Sources told CNN-News18 that two options have been presented before Imran Khan: that he either resigns on his own before November 20, or the Opposition brings an in-house change in the Parliament. In both cases, Imran Khan is going, the sources said, adding that in the coming week, ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf will lose its political allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q).

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Parvez Khattak from PTI and Shahbaz Sharif from the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) are probable names for the Prime Ministerial post, the sources said.

Imran Khan’s political space has been in danger also due to the poor state of the country’s economy and stretched-out protests by the TLP group, whose demands the Prime Minister was forced to accept, in order to end the violent demonstrations across key stations.

As part of an agreement, the Pakistani government had last week released hundreds of supporters of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) to end the violent clashes that have resulted in the death of several police personnel. The group has been protesting against the Pakistan government for months, demanding the release of its party chief Saad Rizvi who was arrested in April this year.

CNN-News18 had reported in October that it was the Pakistani army fuelling tensions between the TLP and the Imran Khan government to put the PM on the ‘back foot’.

Sources had said this was because army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was upset with the government for delaying Lt Nadeem Anjum’s appointment and joining as director-general of the country’s spy agency ISI, adding that Pakistan Army and Leader of Opposition Shahbaz Sharif were in talks, with the General Headquarters not ruling the leader out as a replacement for Imran Khan if the situation continued.

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first published:November 15, 2021, 07:03 IST
last updated:November 15, 2021, 07:53 IST