London Plot

Inam Khawaja

SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)

Now the curtain is being lifted from what was the “London Plot”. Imran initially denied having a one to one meeting with Qadri in June in London. However Qadri let the cat out of the bag and admitted meeting Imran in London last June. Qadri is a very clever person. The question is why he came out with the truth at this stage. Is he trying show that Imran is a liar? Is he trying to go on an independent path to exit?

The first person to come out with the truth was the President of Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Javed Hashmi. He revealed that the core committee of PTI had decided not to march on to the Prime Minister House but on receiving a message from “somewhere” Imranordered to march on. He also disclosed that the message was conveyed by Sheikh Rashid and Saifullah Niazi. Hashmi also said that Shah Mahmood Qureshi used to secretly meet US diplomats. Hashmi thereafter resigned from his membership of the National Assembly. Hashmi also revealed that Rs300 million (30 crore) had been spent on the sit-in, including DJ Butt’s bill of Rs45 million.

This was followed by the revelation in TV programme Aapas Ki Baat that the meeting between Imran and Qadri did indeed take place in June 2014 in the premises of a Pakistani millionaire in Curzon Street, Mayfair, London. Now it will be difficult for Imran to deny having the one to one meeting with Qadri. He has to now explain what was planned and agreed to in this meeting.

General (retd) Mirza Aslam Beg recently revealed that the meeting was arranged by UK, USA and Canada. Furthermore that Pakistan Army was aware of it and that the object was thwarted by General Raheel Sharif. It is no surprise that both UK and USA denied it. Aslam Beg stated that the conspirators wanted to create conditions for the army to take over but the army leadership had knowledge of the conspiracy. He further pointed out that if General Raheel Sharif had not acted in time the country would have suffered irreparable loss. He also asserted that the army had no desire to interfere in the foreign affairs of the country. Finally he pointed out that those standing with Imran and Qadri were the same who had been rubbing shoulders with the dictator Pervez Musharraf.

With the revelations by Qadri, Najum Sethi and Aslam Beg there is no doubt that a secret meeting did take place between Qadri and Imran in London in June. There is considerable weight in Aslam Beg’s assertions because COAS General Raheel Sharif called several times during this period on the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, obviously to keep the PM in the loop. The statements by the official spokesperson of ISPR are also in full conformity with these assertions. The bottom line is that the COAS did not take over. The so called ‘Umpire’ did not raise the finger. Was the ‘Umpire’ a myth, a wishful thinking or was Imran taken for a ride?

The expenditure on the sit-ins is enormous. The cost of Qadri’s sit-in should be similar to that of Imran’s, thus total amount would be to the order of Rs600 million (60 crore). The people of Pakistan want to know as to who is footing the bill. Is the source local or foreign? In any case there is no doubt that this amount could have been spent better.

The indisputable result of these sit-ins is the enormous economic loss to the country, at least Rs600 billion, cancellation of state visits of the Presidents of Sri Lanka and Maldives and the postponement of the Chinese President’s visit.

Qadri and Imran should realise that the “London Plot” has been exposed and thwarted; therefore, there is no point in continuing with the sit-ins. It will be wise for the government to find a way for the duo to exit without losing face.

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