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Sunday, February 05 2023
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General Bajwa doesn’t want an extension: DG ISPR

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Rawalpindi: The Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar, has clarified that the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa, is neither asking for an extension nor will he accept it, media reports said.

He made the remark on Thursday during a briefing to journalists on the recently held 79th Formation Commanders’ Conference at the General Headquarters, Rawalpindi, Geo News reported.

During the press conference, the DG ISPR asked the political parties and the public not to drag the Pakistan Army into politics.

The ISPR DG said any effort to create a rift between people and the armed forces is against national interest.

He welcomed constructive criticism, but pointed out that a “malicious campaign” is being run against the army and its leadership.

Iftikhar said that the formation commanders expressed confidence in the steps taken for the country’s security, especially on account of international security and the Pakistan Army’s role in upholding the rule of law.

“All of them agreed that democracy, strength of institutions and rule of law and all the institutions working within the constitutional limits is the guarantor of national interest,” DG ISPR said, the report added.

He went on to say that the nation’s support is the core of the army’s strength and without it, the concept of national security is meaningless.

Iftikhar said that that is why any intentional or unintentional effort that becomes the reason of creating a rift between the nation and the armed forces is against the broader national interest.

“An organised malicious propaganda is being run against the Pakistan Army and its leadership. Even fake audio messages of different retired senior military officials are being created using a deep-fake technology to create a divide between the nation and armed forces.

“This is illegal, unethical and totally against national interest,” he said.

He then requested the public and the political parties to not drag the army into politics.

“We want to stay out of it. Keep us out of this discourse,” he said, adding that this campaign didn’t get successful ever in the past nor will it in future, Geo News reported.

General Bajwa is neither asking for an extension nor will he accept it, the ISPR DG remarked in response to a question by a journalist.

“He [Gen Bajwa] will retire on time on November 29, 2022,” Iftikhar said.

Responding to another question, the ISPR DG reiterated that the army has nothing to do with politics.

“There is no interference by the Army in any by-election or local bodies election,” Iftikhar said.

He said that it was said that “calls were received”, therefore evidence should be brought to the fore if there is any.

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