General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who serves as the Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), recently issued new directives to all of his commanders and key officers, including those who are affiliated with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), instructing them to stay out of politics and to avoid interacting with politicians.
In response to the propaganda campaign led by Imran Khan’s PTI against the military establishment, these directives have been issued. The propaganda claimed that certain ISI officials were involved in political engineering to manipulate the upcoming by-elections in Punjab in a way that would be detrimental to the PTI.
The sources lament over these allegations and disclosed that the ISI sector commander, Lahore, who is being maligned by the PTI leaders, has not even been in Lahore for more than15 days in connection with some of his professional work in Islamabad. This information was revealed by the sources of the Defense Department.
Dr. Yasmin Rashid, a leader of the PTI and a former minister of health in Punjab, was recently named the sector commander in question and accused him of having been involved in politics to engineering by-elections in the state of Punjab.
Before Rashid, the former foreign minister and current Deputy Chairman of the PTI, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was the one to make the claim that there are some unseen forces at work in the province to influence the by-elections in a way that will be detrimental to the PTI.
Imran Khan, head of the PTI, recently made the allegation that several of his candidates have expressed concern to him regarding the receipt of telephone calls from unidentified numbers. He also stated that the leaders and members of his party were coming under pressure to manipulate the results of the by-elections.
Sources within the defense establishment suggest that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), rather than criticizing the nation’s security apparatus, should disclose evidence. According to these sources, even if a shred of evidence is produced, stringent action will be taken against whoever is involved in the incident.
ISI employees were given stern instructions several weeks ago to avoid becoming involved in political activities. ISI is the premier intelligence organization in the country.