The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Friday rejected allegations leveled by the former prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan against the military — terming them “baseless and irresponsible”
According to the Pakistan Armed forces’ media wing ISPR, “the baseless and irresponsible allegations by PTI chairman against the institution and particularly a senior army officer are absolutely unacceptable and uncalled for.”
The ISPR’s statement comes hours after Imran’s address. In his first press conference since the assassination attempt on him, Imran Khan doubled down on his accusations against Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, and a senior intelligence official Major General Faisal Naseer — of hatching a plot to eliminate him, and demanded they immediately resign to ensure a fair investigation.
He also asked army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to take notice of the attack and the alleged involvement of a military officer, whom he called the “black sheep” in the army. He also urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to provide him justice.
Imran claimed that he had been aware of the conspiracy for a while, he referred to a statement he had made during a September meeting, where he had spoken about an alleged plot to assassinate him and frame it as a religiously motivated attack.
“The conspirators planned a killing on the lines of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer’s assassination while using religion and a religious fanatic as a cover,” Mr. Khan said, adding he had revealed the “conspiracy” in his address at a public gathering on Sept 24. PTI workers and supporters, meanwhile, continued protests across the country on Friday.
The ISPR in response said, “the baseless allegations hurled at the arm and its officials today are highly regrettable and strongly condemned. No one will be allowed to defame the institution or its soldiers with impunity.”
The ISPR called on the government to investigate the matter and initiate legal action against those “responsible for defamation and false accusations against the army and its officials without any evidence whatsoever”.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif has urged Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial to form a full court commission to investigate PTI chief Imran Khan’s allegation of his involvement in the attack on his container during his long march on Thursday.
Meanwhile, according to a notice issued on Saturday by the Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (Pemra) that it has imposed a ban on television channels from broadcasting or rebroadcasting Imran Khan’s press conferences. Pemra added that airing such content was likely to create “hatred among the people” or was prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or was likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity or endanger national security, further saying that it violated several laws and articles.