RAWALPINDI: The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has reacted to comments made by politicians about Lt General Faiz Hameed, the former DG ISI who currently commands the XI Corps of the Pakistan Army in Peshawar.
The ISPR issued a statement deploring the remarks by politicians without naming anyone, saying “the Peshawar Corps is an illustrious formation of Pakistan Army spearheading the national war against terrorism for over two decades.”
“One of the most competent and professional officers is entrusted with the responsibility to lead this prestigious formation,” it said.
The military’s media wing said that “imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about Corps Commander Peshawar are very inappropriate.”
“Such statements undermine the honor and morale of the institution and its leadership. It is expected that the senior political leadership of the country refrains from passing objectionable remarks against the institution whose brave officers and men are constantly putting their lives on the line to guard the integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan.”
Speaking to the media shortly after the press release was issued, ISPR Director General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar reiterated that “many statements” were made in the last few days by the country’s politicians and termed them “highly inappropriate”.
Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the institution was showing “tolerance and restraint and requesting that the army is not dragged into politics”.
He said the army was fulfilling important responsibilities for ensuring security on the country’s western, eastern, and northern borders, while also taking measures for internal security. “We, as an institution, have nothing to do with the political situation of the country,” he said.
The army’s spokesperson also said that the appointment of the next army chief should not be made “controversial” by turning it into a topic of debate. He said the procedure for the appointment of the army chief had been outlined in the Constitution, adding that it would take place in accordance with the law.
While the ISPR statement did not name any particular politician, former president Asif Ali Zardari made an comments about Lt Gen Faiz Hameed.
Speaking to journalists in Karachi, Zardari was asked about Lt Gen Hameed when he replied, “The helpless Faiz Hameed has been sidelined.” However, he had later issued a clarification that he had “unintentionally” uttered the sentence.
Meanwhile, PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz told reporters outside the Islamabad High Court the army chief should be a person who had a “flawless reputation”, free from any criticism or doubts.
She made the remarks about Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s comments, wherein he had said that Lt Gen Hameed’s name could be considered for the new army chief.