“The Director-General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum appeared in a press briefing on Thursday along with Director General (DG) Lt General Babar Iftikhar to discuss the tragic death of journalist Arshad Sharif, and former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s confrontational narrative against the military.”
- Facts behind Arshad Sharif’s death have to be determined
- Facts behind “cypher” have to be determined
- Arshad Sharif was not forced to leave the country and subsequently leave Dubai too
- ARY’s Salman Iqbal should be included in the investigation
- Holding protests is a democratic right but no one will be allowed to destabilize Pakistan
At the outset of the press briefing, DG ISPR said that “the purpose of the briefing was to shed light on the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya and the circumstances surrounding it.”
He lauded the murdered journalist, referring to him as a “icon of journalism,” and expressed sorrow over Arshad Sharif’s passing. He mentioned that the late journalist’s family included military veterans and said he had always felt the suffering of martyred officers.
Imran’s offer to Army Chief
The DG ISI grilled the former prime minister Imran Khan about his persistent confrontational stance against the top military command, particularly the Army Chief, without mentioning him by name.
The ISI chief asked: “how it was possible that the former Prime Minister meets Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in the night and then calls him a “traitor in the day”?
The ISI commander acknowledged that the military had been under intense pressure since March but had chosen to stick to its constitutional responsibilities.
He disclosed that in March, COAS General Bajwa was presented with a “lucrative offer” to extend his employment, but the COAS declined the proposal.
“It was made in front of me. He rejected it because he wanted the institution to move forward from a controversial role to a constitutional role.”
He claimed that the officers who died at Lasbela were mocked. Speaking without evidence is therefore highly unacceptable, he continued, adding that terms like “neutral” and “janwar” were used to suggest that the institution was engaging in insurrection.
On the long march
The DG ISPR responded that protesting is a democratic right in response to a query regarding the PTI’s upcoming long march. He claimed that no one should be concerned about this because Pakistan is not at risk. He made it clear that no one would be permitted to undermine Pakistan.
“The DG ISI said Pakistan Army will extend help to the government to control the situation if it was called under Article 245.”
Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar said “all international borders and every inch of Pakistan are secured. He said we are fully cognisant of the threats and have the answer to them”.