DG ISPR responds to statements of senior politicians regarding the Peshawar Corps Commander on Thursday.
ISPR Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar speaking to the media shortly after the press release was issued, reiterated that “many statements” were made in the last few days by the country’s politicians and termed them “highly inappropriate”.
The DG ISPR said that the army should not be dragged into politics.
“The army has nothing to do with politics and it should be kept away from political conversation. All leadership is focused on its responsibilities. The army is ready to defend the motherland all time,” he added.
Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the institution was showing “tolerance and restraint and requesting that the army is not dragged into politics”.
He said the army was fulfilling important responsibilities for ensuring security on the country’s western, eastern, and northern borders, while also taking measures for internal security.
“We, as an institution, have nothing to do with the political situation of the country,” he said.
Pakistan Army’s spokesperson also said that the appointment of the next army chief should not be made controversial by turning it into a topic of debate.
Statement Issued by ISPR:
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) taking an exception to the “imprudent comments” made by the country’s senior politicians about Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, has released an official statement.
ISPR termed such remarks “very inappropriate”.
In a statement, the military’s media affairs wing said the Peshawar Corps was an “illustrious formation” of the army and was spearheading the national war against terrorism for over two decades.
It added that such statements undermined the honour and the morale of the institution and its leadership.
“One of the most competent and professional officers is entrusted with the responsibility to lead this prestigious formation. Imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about [the] Peshawar Corps commander are very inappropriate,” the statement said.
“It is expected that the senior political leadership of [the] country refrains from passing objectionable remarks against the institution, whose brave officers and men are constantly putting their lives on the line to guard the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan,” the statement concluded.
However, the ISPR statement did not name any particular politician.
The reason behind ISPR’s new statement:
The development comes after PPP co-chair Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz’s recent comments about Lt Gen Hameed, who served as the Inter-Services Intelligence chief from June 16, 2019, to Oct 19, 2021.
A day earlier at a press conference in Karachi, Asif Ali Zardari was asked about Lt Gen Hameed, to which he had replied: “The helpless Faiz Hameed has been sidelined.”
However, Zardari had later issued a clarification that he had “unintentionally” uttered the sentence.
On the other hand, The PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz while addressing a rally last week in Fateh Jang, had also criticized Lt Gen Hameed while referring to Imran Khan’s recent podcast appearance where he had said the intelligence chief was the “eyes and ears” of the government.
Maryam Nawaz said: “We know that he wasn’t your eyes and ears [rather] he was your hands through which you throttled your political opponents.”
Furthermore, PML-N vice president Maryam while talking to the press outside the Islamabad High Court earlier in the day, said that the army chief should be a person who had a “flawless reputation”, free from any criticism or doubts.
She made the remarks while answering a question about Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s comments, wherein he had said that Lt Gen Hameed’s name could be considered for the new army chief.
Maryam Nawaz said that the army was a respectable institution for the country and its people.
“The nation looks at the army for the unity and security of Pakistan. So it is important that an army chief is a person who is worthy and stainless so that people salute the Pakistan Army,” she added.