RAWALPINDI: Today’s joint-press conference of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar marked the first-ever direct media interaction by an ISI head. DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar spoke against the anti-army narrative by PTI chief Imran Khan and about the unfortunate killing of Senior Journalist Arshad Sharif.
DG ISPR said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was aware of the press conference. He called Arshad Sharif an icon of Pakistan and expressed sorrow over his death. Babar said that facts, opinions, and fiction regarding the incident should be differentiated.
Regarding the cypher issue, Babar said that ISI found no evidence of a conspiracy against the PTI government. He added that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa talked about the cypher issue with Imran Khan on March 11, 2022, and it was surprising to see when Imran waved a paper on March 27, 2022, in a public rally.
Talking about the circumstances of Arshad Sharif’s death, DG ISPR said that on August 5, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government released a threat letter, claiming that Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) would target Arshad. He added that the letter was not shared with institutions.
Babar claimed that the letter was issued to force Arshad for leaving Pakistan. According to the DG ISPR, the journalist was in contact with the establishment and did not wish to leave the country.