Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has denounced the “indiscreet comments” made by the country’s political leaders concerning the commander of the Peshawar Corps, Lieutenant-General Faiz Hameed, calling them “highly inappropriate”.
In a statement, the military’s media affairs arm said the Peshawar Corps was an “illustrious formation” of the army and was leading the national war against terrorism for more than two decades.
“One of the most competent and professional officers is entrusted with the responsibility to lead this prestigious formation. Imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about [the] Peshawar Corps commander are very inappropriate,” the ISPR said.
It further stated that these statements violated the honour and morale of the institution and its leaders.
“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,” the statement concluded.
Army acts with tolerance, restraint
Speaking to the media shortly after the release went out, The Director-General (DG) of ISPR, Major-General Babar Iftikhar, reiterated that “many declarations” have been made in recent days by the country’s politicians and described them as “highly inappropriate”.
Major-General Iftikhar said the institution demonstrated “tolerance and restraint and demanded that the army not be drawn into politics”.
He said that the army took on important responsibilities to ensure security on the western, eastern, and northern borders of the country, as well as taking steps for internal security. “As an institution, we are not involved in the political situation of the country,” he said.
The army spokesman also said that the nomination of the next chief of the army should not be “controversial” by turning a subject into a debate. He said that the procedure for appointing the head of the army had been defined in the Constitution, adding that it would take place according to the law.
Statements about Lt-Gen Faiz Hameed
Whereas the ISPR statement did not name a specific politician, it follows comments by PPP Co-Chair Asif Ali Zardari and Maryam Nawaz from PML-N about LGen Hameed, who served as Chief Inter-Services Intelligence chief from June 16, 2019, to October 19, 2021.
On Wednesday, Zardari was interrogated about Lt Gen Hameed at a press conference in Karachi and responded with: “The powerless Faiz Hameed was sidelined.” However, he subsequently made it clear that he “involuntarily” pronounced the sentence.
Meanwhile, Maryam told journalists outside the Islamabad High Court earlier today that the head of the army should be a person with an “impeccable reputation,” free of criticism or suspicion.