Imran Khan's party rejects ISI chief's allegations; says he never made unconstitutional demands
Islamabad, Oct 27: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Thursday rejected ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum's allegations against the party chairman Imran Khan, saying the former prime minister never made any unconstitutional demands during ''back door talks''.
Lt Gen Anjum earlier told reporters in the first-ever media interaction by any ISI chief in Pakistan's history that the institution refused to bend to an ''unconstitutional and illegal act'' by the then government amidst political turmoil in March. He, however, didn't explain the illegal acts.
PTI leader Asad Umar, flanked by Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Fawad Chaudhry and Shireen Mazari, told a press conference that Khan never made any unconstitutional demands during ''back door talks'' with the army chief.
Umar said that the matters discussed behind closed doors were no ''secret'' as Khan discussed them in rallies and press conferences. ''The demands have been in front of the public since forever,'' he said.
He said that Khan owned both the army and the country. ''But will Imran Khan agree with every decision taken by the army?'' he said, adding that Khan has the right to disagree with the army and even criticise it.
Umar also said that Khan never said anything that would weaken the army.
Former foreign minister Qureshi said that the ISI chief's press conference had further complicated things. ''We think a new Pandora box has been opened,'' he said, pointing that the prominent thread in the press conference held by the military's top brass was that the institutions had decided to stay apolitical.
''This was always our wish. According to the Constitution, every institution has a role and if every institution remains and works within its role then it will be easier and no difficulties will be created," he said.
Former information minister Fawad Chaudhry said that it was also important to respect the people's choice along with respect towards the institutions, adding that the people of Pakistan were with Imran Khan.
He supported the stance by the army for a probe into the cypher affair. ''We want a powerful commission to be formed and the same should be done in the case of slain journalist Arshad Sharif,'' Chaudhry said.
Khan, who was ousted from power in April after losing a no-confidence vote in his leadership, has talked about a 'threat letter' from the US and claimed that it was part of a foreign conspiracy to remove him as he was not acceptable for following an independent foreign policy. The US has bluntly rejected the allegations.