Husain Haqqani weighs in on Imran Khan’s allegations

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan (L) and former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. — AFP/File
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan (L) and former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. — AFP/File

Former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani flayed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, breaking the silence over the former prime minister’s allegations of being a lobbyist and aide to former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In January, the deposed premier accused Gen (retd) Bajwa of hiring Haqqani to lobby against him in Washington. He had said that the ex-envoy led a campaign against him and promoted the former army chief in the US.

“It is stupid to say that I put an end to his [Imran Khan] government with [the help of] someone. I am neither a lobbyist nor have I received any payment in this regard. I have good relations with people in the US,” said the former ambassador while speaking during the Geo News programme “Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada Kay Sath“.

He further said that Robert Grenier was not a lobbyist either and was a government official who used to update his research.

“The US does not need me to form Imran Khan’s image. My research is related to the politics in Pakistan,” said Haqqani while asking the PTI chief to speak the truth.

The former ambassador said that the PTI chief had even called him a traitor because of his stance, adding that the former premier had been removed from power through the votes of 174 members of the assembly and that he had “nothing to do with any of these MNAs”.

He went on to say that a lot of people contact think tanks in the US for research. The role of lobbies, journalist and scholar was different, he added.

Haqqani said that Khan had created his anti-American image in the last 26 years. “I did not stand on a container and abused anyone, later asking for forgiveness,” he added.

The former envoy to Washington further said that Gen (retd) Bajwa and his institution had convinced the nation for many years that Haqqani’s opinion was “anti-Pakistan”.

Haqqani said that he will continue to meet US diplomat Donald Lu, questioning what proved that he had been involved in a conspiracy.

“You [Khan] should accept the vote of no-confidence. Why are you dragging me into it?” said the former envoy. “I haven’t been to Pakistan for 11 years and if someone came to meet me then they should be questioned.”

The ex-ambassador said that his work was not related to lobbying against someone or for someone. He said that it was Imran Khan who had said that “I said Bajwa is a good man.”

“I had said that Gen Bajwa’s statement regarding Russia was in the interest of Pakistan,” he clarified.

Speaking about former US envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, Haqqani said that he was not valued in America like he used to be earlier and he was only trying to make his place there now.

“If the US has any interest in Pakistan then it would not be with an individual,” he added. 

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