Army has no objection to judicial probe into ‘conspiracy’ claim: ISPR

Military's spokesman clarifies he does not issue political statements and speaks on behalf of services chiefs

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,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar said in a TV interview on Wednesday. “The incumbent government has this option. The previous government also had this option,” the military spokesperson said. In another television interview on Tuesday, the military spokesperson said that the National Security Committee (NSC) was clearly told in its 37th meeting that the intelligence agencies had not found evidence of any “foreign conspiracy” against the previous PTI government. Former senior minister and PTI general secretary Asad Umar sought to call it an opinion of the ISPR DG.

But Maj. Gen. Babar said in his fresh interview that it wasn’t an opinion – rather whatever he said was based on the reports of the intelligence agencies.  “I am the spokesperson of the services chiefs, if someone speaks something about the services chiefs, then I will have to clarify it – there is nothing political about this,” he said. “All the services chiefs had clearly stated their stance during the NSC meeting. And none of them said a conspiracy was hatched,” the ISPR DG said while referring to the 37th NSC meeting on March 31, 2022. “The word conspiracy was not written in the statement issued at the end of the NSC meeting,” he added. In that meeting, the national security adviser had briefed the participants on a “formal communication” of a senior official of a foreign country to Pakistan’s ambassador in the said country in a formal meeting, which was duly conveyed by the ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “The committee expressed grave concern at the communication, terming the language used by the foreign official as undiplomatic,” read a statement issued by the PM’s Office after the meeting.

The committee concluded that the communication amounted to “blatant interference in the internal affairs of Pakistan by the country in question, which was unacceptable under any circumstances”. The meeting, chaired by then prime minister Imran Khan, decided that a demarche would be issued both in Islamabad and in the foreign country’s capital through proper channels in keeping with the diplomatic norms.