There will never be martial law in Pakistan ensured military spokesman

 DG ISPR also said that Army Chief is neither seeking extension of tenure nor will he accept one

Army Chief not seeking extension

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DGISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar has said today that the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa is neither seeking the extension of his tenure nor will he accept it. “The Army chief is neither seeking extension nor believes in accepting of extension no matter what. He will be retiring on November 29, 2022," DGISPR made it clear. 

Keep Army out of politics

DGISPR said that Pakistan Army should be kept out of the politics. Pakistan Army is a political and don't want to intervene in politics. He said that Pakistan Army has nothing to do with politics. "The Army has nothing to do with the political process that took place a few days back in the country," he iterated. "Do not drag the army into political matters."

 No marshal law in future

Maj Gen Babar said that Pakistan's future lies only in democracy, adding that the Army has nothing to do with politics. "No martial law will be imposed in the country in the future," he added.

Malicious campaign against Pakistan Army

 Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, Maj Gen Babar said that any effort to create a rift between people and the armed forces is against national interest.

 While welcoming constructive criticism, Maj Gen Babar said a "malicious campaign is being run against the army and its leadership, using even deep-fake technology. There is an engineered movement designed against the Pakistan military", he said, adding that character assassination of the military on the basis of rumours is not tolerable under any circumstances.

On the ongoing propaganda against the security forces, the DG ISPR said that the concerned departments of the government were taking action against it and maintained that they have also traced foreign linkages during the probe into the malicious campaign. 

"We have collected data around the malicious campaign against institutions. The campaigns started locally and have expanded globally. We will share our analysis in the coming days. "He also urged the people to avoid sharing such reports without confirming them.

Replying to another question about the language being used for the COAS in certain public meetings, the military’s spokesperson requested the people to avoid using inappropriate words for the institution and its leadership. “It is not beneficial for anyone,” he added. 

Maj Gen Babar underscored the need for coordinated measures to isolate the society from the effects of the propaganda at the government and individual levels. The army is one of the main targets of this disinformation campaign, he admitted. 

Word 'conspiracy' not included in NSC statement

Major General Babar clarified that the word "conspiracy" was not used in the statement issued after a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) last month. He said he cannot discuss what was discussed in the meeting, but noted that the word "conspiracy" was not used.

He, however, said that the stance of the military leadership was conveyed in the meeting as well as the statement issued after it. "Whatever the meeting concluded is present in the statement." He said that Pakistan's military agencies are working day and night against such plots and will not let them get successful.

Never give three options to former PM Imran Khan

The DG ISPR said that the establishment did not put forth options before then prime minister Imran Khan. He, however, said that during the deadlock, the Prime Minister’s Office contacted the military leadership to resolve the matter.

"The political parties were not ready for talks with each other to end the deadlock at that time," he said, adding that the army chief and DG ISI visited the PM’s Office at their request to play the role of mediator.

Options of the no-confidence motion, PM’s resignation and dissolution of assemblies after withdrawal of the motion were discussed there, he said, adding that the then prime minister had declared the third option as “acceptable”.

Nuclear assets 'not affiliated' with political parties

Referring to Imran Khan's statement regarding the nuclear assets "handed over to thieves", Gen Iftikhar said that everyone has to be careful when speaking about nuclear assets.

"As far as our political leadership is concerned, the nuclear assets are not affiliated with any particular political leadership. Since Pakistan's nuclear weapon has been started, all the governments that have come, have worked with all their loyalty has advanced the programme and helped it get where we are today."

"This is the reason that our command and control mechanism and our assets' security is one of the best systems in the international evaluation."

Russia visit 

When asked if the army was taken into confidence over the former prime minister's visit to Russia, Gen Iftikhar said that the army was on board.

"However, at that time no one in their wildest dreams had known that Russia would wage a war on Ukraine on the same day, which was very embarrassing."

BBC's report a pack of lies

Responding to a question about the BBC report on events that took place at the Prime Minister’s House on the night of Imran Khan's ouster from power, Maj Gen Babar said that it is a "false story" and nothing but a pack of lies". 

"The Army has nothing to do with the political process that took place a few days back in the country," he iterated. "Do not drag the army into political matters."

                                                      Rukhsana Manzoor Deputy Editor

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