RAWALPINDI: DG ISPR Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar has termed it imperative to hold transparent and impartial investigation into the killing of senior Journalist Arshad Sharif.
Addressing a news conference along with DG ISI Lieutenant General Nadeem Anjum in Rawalpindi on Thursday, he said we have requested the government to form a high level inquiry commission to investigate into the despicable incident.
The DG ISPR said international and forensic experts including the UN representatives should be included in the inquiry commission.
He said Chief Executive Officer of ARY Salman Iqbal should be brought back to Pakistan and also be investigated.
The DG ISPR said the killing of Arshad Sharif has aggrieved the whole nation. He said we should wait for the report of the inquiry commission.
It will not be appropriate to level any allegations without final report of the inquiry commission.
He said we had no information about the life threat to Arshad Sharif in Pakistan.
He said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had issued a threat letter which stated that a terrorist group is looking to target Sharif.
In this regard, no information was shared with the institutions as to who provided them this information.
He said there were reports that Arshad Sharif did not want to leave the country but he kept being reminded that he was facing a threat to his life.
He said nobody forced the senior journalist to leave Dubai at a government level, questioning as to who exactly forced him to leave Dubai.
The Lieutenant General regretted the smear campaign unleashed against Pakistan Army by certain elements on the social media following the murder of Arshad Sharif.
He said it should be seen as to who is trying to take benefit from the death of the journalist.
The DG ISPR said the Kenyan government has admitted its mistake but it should be seen whether it was the incident of mistaken identity or targeted killing.
He said there are several questions which need to be answered in this case.
Babar Iftikhar said we are a dignified and sovereign nation.
He said the armed forces have rendered sacrifices in the war on terrorism and the nation should have full confidence and trust on this institution.
He said we are the force of this nation and we cannot be traitors and conspirators.
The DG ISPR said we can collectively face with the challenges including that of hybrid warfare. He said it is our promise to the nation that the armed forces will never disappoint them.
Referring to the Cipher, the DG ISPR said a political interference was expected from Pakistan Army contrary to the constitution of the country. Regardless of the fake and misleading narrative over Cipher, he said the institution and the Chief of Army Staff demonstrated restraint.
Babar Iftikhar said the ISI findings did not find any evidence of conspiracy behind the no confidence motion against the previous government. He said these findings are part of record. He regretted that a specific narrative was built around the cipher to achieve political interests.
DG ISI Lieutenant General Nadeem Anjum lamented the language used by certain political elements against Pakistan Army and its top leadership.
He said they are doing so because the institution had declined to play the unconstitutional role.
He said the institution has decided to confine itself to constitutional role and stay away from politics.
He said it was in March that the Army Chief was offered extension for an indefinite period but he rejected the offer.
Responding to a question, the DG ISPR said the appointment of the new Army Chief will take place on time in accordance with the constitutional requirements.
To a question about long march, the DG ISPR said that protesting is a democratic right. He said this should not worry anybody as Pakistan faces no threat from it.
He categorically stated that nobody will be allowed to destabilize Pakistan.
The DG ISI said Pakistan Army will extend help to the government to control the situation if it was called under article 245.
Lieutenant General Babar Iftikhar said all international borders and every inch of Pakistan are secured. He said we are fully cognizant of the threats and have the answer to them.
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