DG ISPR's statement not political, but based on facts: Maryam

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz stated on Thursday that the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general's statement was not political, but was based on facts.

The PML-N leader's remarks came in response to the criticism of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders against DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar's statement that there was no evidence found of a 'foreign conspiracy', that PTI chief Imran Khan claims led to his ouster.

Maryam Nawaz while talking to the media in Islamabad harshly criticised the former premier’s policies, “Imran Khan was playing with Pakistan for four years, then when the economy was ruined, he mortgaged it to the IMF [International Monetary Fund].”

She added that the ousted government had laid an 'economic minefield' for their successive government, adding that the former interior minister for the PTI had even admitted to this.

Defending the petroleum price hike and additional taxes stipulated in the new budget, the PML-N vice president stated that Shehbaz Sharif’s government did not willingly impose such conditions.

“The agreement was reached with the IMF in 2019 [during Imran Khan's government]. As Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is committed to fulfilling the agreement, we have to take steps to abide by it,” she furthered.

Read Sharjeel says ISPR gave final word on false narrative of PTI

Pinning the blame of inflation onto the former government, Maryam stated that the PTI had agreed to levy taxes and increase the prices of petroleum products with the IMF. She added that according to the agreement the price of petrol should have been Rs300 per litre today.

Alluding to Imran Khan’s calls to protest, the PML-N leader said that calls for anarchy, sedition, and violence against the state will be strongly dealt with by the government.

“One corruption scandal after another is coming out against Imran Khan; he is shocked at the nation's rejection,” she added.

The PML-N leader also accused the former premier of “hiding” in Peshawar out of fear of interior minister Rana Sanaullah.

Musharraf's return

Referring to Nawaz Sharif’s comments regarding former president General Pervez Musharraf’s return to Pakistan, the PML-N leader stated that the party supremo did not believe in personal revenge and his statements were made on humanitarian grounds.

On the matter of elections, Maryam Nawaz said that tough decisions were necessary for the stability of the country, adding that the general election will be held on time.

'No evidence of foreign conspiracy'

DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar had said in a TV interview on Tuesday that the agencies had found no evidence of a “foreign conspiracy” and that the NSC participants had been clearly told that no conspiracy was hatched against the PTI government. “No one has a right to distort the facts,” he added. “Everyone has a right to have an opinion but no one should spread lies.”

The DG ISPR's TV interview triggered scathing rejoinders from the PTI.

Addressing a news conference in the federal capital on Wednesday, PTI secretary general and former federal minister Asad Umar said the chief military spokesperson “should not interpret the political matters”.

He maintained that the words “foreign interference” had been used in the cypher.

Read more No conspiracy, demarche given on interference: DG ISPR

“All these facts were mentioned in the cypher. It was said that Pakistan would face hard times if the no-confidence motion failed. Pakistan was directly threatened in the cypher,” Umar said, adding that he and PTI leader Dr Shireen Mazari were present in the first NSC.

Umar said that Imran, as PTI chairman, would write a letter to the Supreme Court to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

“We want a judicial commission to be formed and the facts be brought before the nation. Defending the national security is also the responsibility of the elected leadership,” he said.

'No objection to commission'

Hours after the PTI leaders' presser, the DG ISPR in another TV interview said that the military has said that it has no objection whatsoever if a judicial commission is set up to probe into the PTI’s claims that Imran Khan had been ousted from power through a foreign conspiracy.

“Whatever commission the government forms, the military will extend full cooperation,” DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said in a TV interview on Wednesday – the day the PTI’s chorus for a judicial probe rose to a crescendo.

“The incumbent government has this option. The previous government also had this option,” the military spokesperson said.

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