Pakistan army chief takes on Imran Khan over alleged US conspiracy

AFP

Pakistan's outgoing army chief rejected on Wednesday as "fake and false" claims by ousted prime minister Imran Khan that a U.S.-backed conspiracy had toppled his government, and also said the military would play no role in national politics in future.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa made his comments in one of his farewell addresses at the military's headquarters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which lies next to the capital Islamabad.

"You think that the armed forces would sit idly by if there were an external conspiracy in the country," Bajwa said, referring to Khan's claim that the parliamentary confidence vote that ousted him in April was part of a U.S.-backed plot.

The former premier has also alleged that the military played a role in his ousting, a charge the army has denied.

"A state of hysteria was created in the country on the pretext of a fake and false narrative," the army chief said about Khan's main accusation that Washington supported his removal with the help of a local handler.

The United States has denied any involvement.

Over the weekend, Khan said that even if the military had not been involved it could still have saved his government.

Khan's party spokesman Fawad Chaudhry told Reuters he had no comment on the army chief's remarks.

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