Did ex-ISI chief contact Pak oppn members to foil no trust move against Imran?

Major General Babar Iftikhar, spokesperson for the Pakistan Army and DG ISPR, has said that all talk about an individual, recently posted in Peshawar, contacting opposition members to foil the proposed no-trust move against Prime Minister Imran Khan is mere speculation, The News reported.

It may be pointed out that while no names have been mentioned, former ISI Chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed has been posted as Peshawar Corps Commander recently.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that neither is the institution involved in any politics nor can any individual belonging to the defence forces do what is being speculated about him, The News reported.

The DG ISPR referred to his last press conference regarding such speculation and said that it should be avoided. The institution has nothing to do with politics, he said, adding that no individual in the institution could do what was being speculated.

Recently, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in a press release issued to the media alleged that on the direction of the Prime Minister, a person recently posted to Peshawar was contacting opposition members from the National Assembly to foil the no-trust move.

The PML-N warned that if this continued, the party would have no option but to name the person, the report said.

On Wednesday, JUI(F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman was quoted as having told a group of media persons that “the institution” has become neutral.

He added that the institution has taken notice of the individual act mentioned in the PML-N press release.

The DG ISPR in his last press conference when asked about a deal being offered to former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, told the questioner to ask the speculators what the specific details of the deal were and on what evidence or basis were they talking about such a deal.

“If someone speaks about such a matter, I would request you to ask them who is striking a deal. What are the specifics? What is the evidence that someone is out to make a deal?” Maj Gen Iftikhar had asked.

He said there was no such thing going on and reiterated that if someone does talk about it, they must be asked for the details.

“In my understanding, I am very clear on that, this is all absolutely baseless speculation and the less we discuss it, the better for the country,” he was quoted by the media as saying.

The DG ISPR, in the same press conference, had also maintained that there is no trouble afoot on the civil-military front.

“I say this time and again that the armed forces are a subservient institution to the government of Pakistan and work in accordance with their directives,” he said.

(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.s@ians.in)

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