Political leadership should avoid controversial statements: DG ISPR

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Director-General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar has responded to the politicians’ statements on Peshawar Corps Commander Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed and called the remarks ‘very inappropriate.’
The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued a statement in response to the politicians’ statements on Peshawar Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed today.
It read that the Peshawar Corps is an illustrious formation of the Pakistan Army spearheading the national war against terrorism for over two decades. The ISPR clarified that the responsibility to lead the prestigious formation was given to one of the most competent and professional officers.
The ISPR statement read that the imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about Commander Peshawar Corps [Lt Gen Faiz Hameed] are very inappropriate. It added that such statements undermine the honour and morale of the institution and its leadership. The military’s media wing expressed hopes that the senior political leadership will refrain 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. While talking to the media, DG-ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said that the media statement has clarified the armed forces’ stance after the statements came from the politicians in recent days.
The DG-ISPR said that the politicians’ statements are very inappropriate. He added that they are exhibiting tolerance for a long time and consistently requesting not to drag the Pakistan Army into politics. Iftikhar said that Pakistan has several security challenges and the armed forces are performing important duties to secure the country’s borders and cope with the internal security challenges. The military leadership is completely focused on its security responsibilities, he said.
He reiterated that the army should be kept away from the political discourse.
Regarding the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Babar Iftikhar said that the army chief is an important position and the appointment process is mentioned in the Constitution. The appointment of the army chief will be made at its appropriate time, he added.
The DG-ISPR said that unnecessary debates and discussions regarding the COAS appointment are tantamount to making the army chief’s position controversial. He asked everyone to refrain from unneeded debates regarding the army chief’s appointment which is not in the national interests.
Babar Iftikhar said that they have clarified the military’s position multiple times that the army has no connection with the political discourse as per the Constitution and law.
The ISPR director-general said that everyone has witnessed the military establishment as an apolitical institution in any of the recent elections. He continued that all senior politicians are also accepting that the army is far from politics.
He also said that proposing the army for political interference is very inappropriate. The DG-ISPR said that Pakistan Army is fully ready to guard the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.
To a question regarding politicians demand to hold elections, the DG ISPR said, “We have nothing to do with holding elections and politics has nothing to do with us, while it has been clearly practiced for over a year now.” “Look at any by-election, local body election and other political issues, we have clearly kept ourselves away from these things and even politicians are confirming this.”