Islamabad, Pakistan: The reason why the ISI had to go public was because of the divide within the military establishment in terms of its support to Imran Khan. Former DG, ISI Lt. Gen. Faiz Hameed and currently Corps Commander is a supporter of Imran Khan. It is well-known fact, reported Geneva Daily.
Whereas, there are other Corps Commanders also who are sympathetic to Imran Khan, but not as openly as Gen. Hammed. This makes the Army vulnerable to disunity. It is something General Bajwa does not want during his tenure as Chief, ahead of his retirement.
The presser by Lt. Gen. Nadeem Anjum, Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence (DG, ISI), who generally keeps a low profile, indicates there is more to the incident than meets the eye. The presser comes following allegations by Imran Khan that he had asked Arshad to leave Pakistan and that his killing was a targeted one, reported The Geneva Daily.
The ISI presser was a classic example of killing two birds with a stone. It served the twin purposes of attacking former Prime Minister Imran Khan and deflecting attention on the Arshad Sharif targeted killing in Kenya.
One way to deflect the attention from Arshad Sharif’s killing was to articulate that Imran Khan had offered Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa an ‘indefinite extension’ in March 2021 and that Bajwa declined the offer.
Moreover, the deep state has tried to stifle Imran Khan with court cases and other charges. However, in this matter, Imran Khan has been lucky as despite all this he was able to kick off the long march to Islamabad.
With stories doing the rounds that an ISI assassination squad bumped off Arshad Sharif in Kenya, the ISI chief was forced to take the public stage to explain the position of the Agency.
ISPR chief Lt. Gen. Babar had said,”It is necessary to determine the factors through which a particular narrative was formed and the people were misled.” Regretting the Army Chief was also targeted he said, “An attempt was made to create a divide in the society.”
The cypher conspiracy was also evoked in the presser. DG ISPR pointed out that Arshad Sharif had met the then Prime Minister Imran Khan several times and conducted interviews on the diplomatic cypher issue.
The military spokesperson clarified that the Army “did not have any negative sentiments about him [Arshad] and there are no such feelings now”.
Gen Nadeem went on to say that Imran Khan’s outburst was because the Army Chief refused to do the “unconstitutional act”. The DG, ISI chief opened his remarks by stating, “…..I am not here for myself but for my institution, whose soldiers and officers sacrifice their lives every day for this country. Especially, I have come here for my agency, whose officers’ and agents all over the world protect this country 24 hours a day.”
The real reason for the presser thus becomes clear in that Gen. Anjum was told to present himself before the media to deflect attention from charges that the Army was responsible for the killing of Arshad Sharif, reported Geneva Daily.