Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan Wednesday slammed the government for shifting blame over rising terrorism and berating his party for its policy towards the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP). “I am not in power anymore. Had I been in the government, then I would have been answerable,” the PTI chief hit out at the Centre during his address via video link, while also claiming that terrorism was under control during his tenure. The PTI chief, while also mentioning that he wasn’t responsible for terrorism and rising inflation, said that he was devastated over the attack in Peshawar. He said those in power, and who ruled for 30 years before him, were responsible for the ongoing crisis. “Those holding us responsible: I can answer for what happened when we were in power […] The question is why didn’t it happen during our tenure?” Imran said that the PTI was in power in KP, the province most ravaged by terrorism, since 2013. “We are responsible for what happened during our tenure. Why are you asking us for an answer when we are not in power?” Imran alleged that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif wanted to use the recent tragedy in Peshawar as an excuse to delay elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). He said, there were no ifs or buts in the Constitution on delay elections, reiterating the Constitution clearly states that elections must be held in 90 days. “I am telling you, they have planned to delay elections for a year,” Imran claimed while pointing to the incumbent federal government. He said despite a war on terror and terror attacks at their peak, general elections were not postponed in 2008 nor in 2013. He regretted that KP Governor Haji Ghulam Ali wrote letter to ECP to postpone the elections in KP when the nation were in grief over the deadly suicide attack on Police Lines. “I feared instability in Afghanistan […] there were 30,000-40,000 fighters in Afghanistan. Then, a decision was taken by the parliament members and the armed forces that these fighters would be settled in Pakistan,” Imran said, adding that as he feared instability, his government tried to negotiate with the group to ensure that Afghanistan’s fallout does not affect Pakistan. Khan claimed that had the coalition parties not removed his party from power, then the situation would have been completely different. “Why did they remove my government when they could not run the country?” The PTI chairman added that the incumbent rulers’ only reason for coming into power was to get their corruption cases worth Rs 1,100 billion “closed”. Imran Khan said that he wanted to retain Lieutenant General (retired) Faiz Hameed as the ISI chief to counter an expected increase in militant attacks in the winter of 2021-22, and that the matter later went on to unravel the one-page with the military. He said he and former army chief General (retired) Qamar Javed Bajwa were on the same page. But admitted to developing differences on two major issues. The first, Imran claimed, cropped up immediately after Gen Bajwa got an extension in his tenure. Imran alleged that the former army chief wanted to give an NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance) to the then opposition comprising the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Secondly, Imran claimed that General (retired) Bajwa wanted to appoint the head of the powerful spy service, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of his choice. “I wanted to wanted to retain General (retired) Faiz Hameed as director general of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to counter winter attacks [from militants].” “I wanted the best player to retain the DG ISI slot,” he said. He said after the Afghan Taliban took over [in Kabul], his government tried to make contact with Kabul because the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) were operating in the tribal areas. He alleged that incumbent government had made funny and insensitive statements about the tribal areas because they lacked an understanding about the tribal districts. He conceded to parlaying with terrorists for ensuring peace in the tribal areas but defended the move as the only pathway to sustainable peace. Since his regime was evicted, Imran said that talks on bringing peace in the tribal areas stalled, culminating in a resurgence of TTP in the Malakand. Imran Khan claimed that his strategy to dissolve Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) assemblies has worked out well as the government is finding itself stuck in a ‘blind alley’. He said that if the assemblies were not dissolved, the general elections would not have taken place.