In an apparent dig at PTI head Imran Khan, Director General Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Nadeem Anjum stated that the previous prime minister cannot meet army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the middle of the night and then brand him a “traitor” the next day.
If the president is a traitor, why did you meet him in hiding?” Meeting [him] is your right, but you cannot meet at night and call [him] a traitor during the day, asked the DG ISI.
Lt Gen Anjum claimed that the military was labelled “neutral and an animal” for refusing to participate in a “illegal” decision. He claimed that the refusal to undertake the “illegal duty” was made by the entire institution, not by a single person or army leader.
According to the ISI chief, the military has been under a lot of pressure since March, but they have decided to stick to their constitutional position.
He stated that General Bajwa could have spent the remaining six months of his mandate in peace, but he chose to act in the best interests of the country and the institution.
The former government offered the army chief an extended extension of his tenure in order to defeat the no-trust vote, but he declined, said Lt Gen Anjum. He further questioned why, if the commander in chief was a traitor, he was honoured ceaselessly in the recent past.
If the army leader is a traitor in your eyes, why did you wish to extend his tenure, and why do you continue meet with him secretly? the DG ISI inquired.
According to the DG ISI, Arshad was in contact with the institution while in Pakistan and maintained contact even when he travelled abroad. He also stated that he is in communication with his Kenyan counterpart over his demise.
We are not pleased, which is why the government appointed the inquiry panel, the DG ISI stated. He went on to say that members of his organisation were purposefully excluded from the probe committee.
The DG ISI made the announcement during a news conference with Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR). The two were speaking to the media in Kenya about the death of senior journalist Arshad Sharif.
The goal of this press conference is to inform you about the death of notable senior journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and the circumstances surrounding his death, said DG ISPR at the press conference’s commencement.
Lt Gen Iftikhar stated that the news conference is being held at a time when it is critical to deliver the facts correctly in order to distinguish truth, fiction, and opinion. He also stated that the military’s media wing alerted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of the press conference.
According to the chief of the military’s communications wing, there is a need to investigate the circumstances under which a false narrative was created and people were misled.
Institutions, leadership, and even the chief of army staff have been accused of creating an extraordinary chaotic scenario for no reason claimed the DG ISPR.
According to Lt Gen Iftikhar, Sharif’s death was a “tragic occurrence.” He referred to the senior journalist as a martyr’s son, a martyr’s brother, and a serving officer’s brother-in-law. His programmes will serve as an example for journalists, he said.
Because Arshad was an investigative journalist, he dug into the cypher issue when it came to light, said DG ISPR. He further stated that the journalist interviewed then-prime minister Imran Khan on the subject, and that he was allegedly shown the document at the time.
Facts related to the cypher and Arshad Sharif’s death must be discovered. There is therefore no uncertainty in this regard, remarked the DG ISPR.
The DG ISPR stated that the facts surrounding the cypher and Arshad Sharif’s death must be discovered so that there is no ambiguity.
The military spokeswoman further stated that the army leader discussed the cypher with the PTI chief in Kamra, and that Imran Khan himself stated that the paper was not a huge concern.
It surprised us when Imran Khan flashed the paper at his March 27 rally in an effort to give a narrative that was not tied to truth in any way, said the DG ISPR.
Lt Gen Iftikhar stated that various details about the cypher have surfaced thus far, exposing the empty and fraudulent tale. He went on to say that the former prime minister used the views of a Pakistani diplomat to further his political goals.
According to the military spokesperson, the ISI notified the National Security Committee in a very clear and professional manner that they had uncovered no proof of any type of conspiracy against the government. He stated that after being briefed on the ambassador’s personal evaluation and the plan advised by the envoy, the NSC recommended the same strategy to the Foreign Office.
There was no indication for any form of conspiracy in ISI’s conclusions connected to the cypher, he stated, adding that all of these findings were documented. He went on to say that the military wanted these conclusions made public, but they left the decision up to the PTI-led government, which did not do so.
Instead, more fake news and rumours were broadcast in order to gain political advantage and to build a specific narrative that the no-confidence motion was part of a regime change effort rather than a constitutional, political, and legal issue, the DG ISPR added.
Pakistan’s institutions, particularly the army leadership, were targeted, and it was linked to treason and a regime change effort, Lt Gen Iftikhar added. He revealed that Sharif and other senior journalists were fed a specific story throughout this time.
The DG ISPR stated, in reference to ARY News, that during the media trial, the commercial TV channel worked as a spin doctor in promoting a false narrative against the Pakistan Army and leadership.
“The Pakistan Army was expected to engage in political meddling, which is prohibited by the Constitution.” “The term ‘neutral’ was abused,” stated the DG ISPR. Despite this, he said, the institution and army leader exercised extraordinary prudence and tolerance.
“We tried everything we could to get these politicians to sit down and tackle national concerns,” claimed the DG ISPR. He went on to say that Sharif, social media activists, and others discussed the cypher, and that “serious” things were said about it.
“Arshad had been doing programmes on ARY that were harshly critical of various institutions since December 27.” Despite this, we had no unfavourable thoughts for him at the time, and we still do,” claimed the DG ISPR.
Lt Gen Iftikhar stated that on August 5, 2022, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government issued a threat alert against Sharif. He went on to say that the alert was issued on the special orders of KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan.
He claimed that the danger alert appeared to be an attempt to compel Sharif to flee the country.
“After Shahbaz Gill’s arrest, Salman Iqbal directed [Senior Executive Vice President ARY News] Ammad Yousuf to send Arshad out of the country,” he added, adding that the ARY CEO should be brought back to Pakistan and made a part of the investigation into the journalist’s killing.
“We should all await the formation of an inquiry commission.” Have faith in your institutions. For the past 20 years, we have been washing our blunders in blood. “We can make mistakes, but we cannot be traitors or conspirators,” the DG ISPR stated.