Thursday, June 30, 2022

All institutions were on board over former PM’s Russia visit: DG ISPR


ISLAMABAD: Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar Thursday reiterated that Pakistan Army has nothing to do with politics and asked the political parties and public not to drag armed forces into politics.

The DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar was addressing a press conference to brief journalists on the recently held formation commanders conference at the General Headquarters (GHQ).

Answering reporters’ questions about the threatening demarche former PM Imran Khan is talking about, the DG ISPR said that the army’s viewpoint on the matter can be seen in the statement issued after the National Security Committee on the issue.

He added that all institutions were on board regarding former PM’s Russia visit.

‘Malicious campaign’

During the presser, the DG ISPR condemned the propaganda campaign by some quarters to malign the Pakistan Army and create division between the military and society.

“A malicious campaign is being run against the army and its leadership,” he said, adding that any effort to create a rift between people and the armed forces is against national interest.

NSC meeting

Major General Babar Iftikhar further clarified that the word “conspiracy” was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) held last month on “threat letter.”

“Is there any word such as conspiracy used in the statement of NSC? I don’t think so”.

‘COAS not seeking extension’

The military spokesperson General Iftikhar stated that Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa is not seeking an extension and will retire on time.

The COAS will complete his tenure in November this year, he added.

‘US never asked for military bases’

While reposing a question regarding the United States asking for operational bases in Pakistan and former prime minister Imran Khan’s reply of “absolutely not”, the military spokesperson said, “if bases were asked for, the army would have the same stance”.

“The US did not even ask for bases and there was no mention of it on any level,” Major Gen Babar Iftikhar said.

Meanwhile, talking about the former premier’s visit to Russia, Gen Iftikhar confirmed that all institutions were onboard on it and Army was taken into confidence.

‘BBC story baseless’

DG ISPR rejected British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Urdu report related to the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the events at the PM House.

The ISPR said that BBC Urdu story published today is totally “baseless” and a “pack of lies.”

Establishment didn’t give three options

The ISPR director general further revealed that the former prime minister had approached the COAS Bajwa to mediate and help find a solution to the political crisis.

The army chief and DG ISI went to the House and three scenarios were discussed,” he said, adding that no option from the establishment was given to PM Office.

Nuclear assets 

While responding to a question regarding former prime minister Khan’s statement on coutry’s nuclear assets, the ISPR DG said: “Don’t use the nuclear assets for politics, the army is apolitical, not neutral.”

The former prime minister, in his first public speech after ouster, had asked security institutions if the country’s nuclear assets would be safe under the leadership of the Sharifs-led government.


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