The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) issued a statement on Monday calling Imran Khan, leader of the PTI, “regrettable, deplorable, and unacceptable” for his claims against military officers.
Mr. Khan had previously accused a top military officer of plotting an attack on him and other PTI leaders in Wazirabad, so this response seems timely.
According to the ISPR, Mr. Khan made the claims without proof. “These fabricated and malicious allegations are extremely unfortunate, deplorable, and unacceptable,” the military’s media arm added.
The ISPR continued by saying that the Army would “reserve its legal rights” in the face of such allegations. We urge the concerned political leader to pursue legal action and avoid making baseless accusations. Legal action against obviously false or malicious remarks or propaganda may be taken at the institution’s discretion.
“This has been a consistent pattern for [the] last year wherein military and intelligence agencies officials are targeted with insinuations and sensational propaganda for the furtherance of political objectives,” the ISPR said, noting the recent pattern of charges.
Response from PTI
Prominent members of the PTI have responded to the ISPR’s statement, including senior vice president Fawad Chaudhry and secretary general Asad Umar.
Mr. Chaudhry tweeted his support for a third-party investigation into Mr. Khan’s claims. The ISPR has issued a surprise press statement,” he wrote. Mr. Khan’s suspicions that a military officer was involved in the attack need an impartial inquiry into his claims. However, the Army has issued a press release implying otherwise, which is unsuitable for the country.
Mr. Umar welcomed the Army’s call for adopting a legal recourse while sharing Mr. Khan’s attempt to take the legal route by lodging an FIR. He wrote, “Totally agree with ISPR that a legal recourse should be taken to resolve the allegations. Imran Khan has tried to do that by filing an FIR and approaching the supreme court. The institution supporting legal recourse would be a positive step forward”.