Better to let politicians interpret political matters, Asad Umar suggests

PTI general secretary Asad Umar responds to recent interview of DG ISPR; demands formation of judicial commission on "foreign plot"

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PTI general-secretary Asad Umar speaking during a press conference. — Screengrab/Geo News Live
PTI general-secretary Asad Umar speaking during a press conference. — Screengrab/Geo News Live 

  • PTI general secretary Asad Umar responds to recent interview of DG ISPR.
  • Demands formation of judicial commission on "foreign plot".
  • Shireen Mazari says saying those who disagree with "opinion" are telling lies is an insult.

ISLAMABAD: PTI general-secretary Asad Umar on Wednesday demanded the formation of a judicial commission on the "foreign conspiracy" allegedly carried out to topple the PTI government.

The demand comes during a press conference of the politician, flanked by senior PTI leader and former federal minister Shireen Mazari in Islamabad.

The politician said that a member of the military leadership said in an interview that facts and opinion need to be set aside.

Referring to the cable that PTI government claimed to be a "written threat" to Pakistan, the politician said that the facts written in the cable suggested an open threat was being given to Pakistan that it will be isolated if Imran Khan is not removed from power.

He claimed that whatever he is saying is written in the press releases issued after both the National Security Committee’s (NSC) meetings. He said that “foreign interference” has been clearly stated in the press releases.

“[The] DG ISPR is right in saying that some of the military leadership representatives actually said that they cannot see any evidence of a conspiracy. Most of the civilian leadership said there was a conspiracy,” Umar said.

He said that the army alone is not responsible to defend national security, but the elected government as well.

Umar said that he believes that "it would be better for the army and the country if the Inter-services Public Relations (ISPR) director-general doesn't find it necessary to interpret political affairs again and again."

'PTI's questions haven't been addressed': Mazari

Meanwhile, Mazari said that it was an opinion that it was an interference not a conspiracy, but saying those who disagree with this opinion are telling lies is an insult.

She said that “they” also said that an investigation was conducted and a report was presented but no such report was presented in the NSC meeting where the cipher was discussed.

She said that PTI raised a major question on the point on which the cipher started — which meant that the decision to visit Russia was solely Imran Khan’s — but it hasn't been responded to as yet.

"There was a consensus of the entire establishment and retired ambassadors on the visit at the time on who fed the wrong information to the US government that they started the cipher with this matter," Mazari said.

She said that the party is preparing a list and compiling incidents before the no-confidence motion on when and which American embassy officials met the PTI dissidents and Noor Alam.

“Why did they meet Raja Riaz. Did they meet to discuss foreign policy?" she asked.

Mazari further stated that the third question was why then foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was kept unaware about the cipher. The cipher was shown to the foreign minister only when he demanded, she added.

"If the military leadership found that it was an interference while the entire civilian leadership believed it was a conspiracy then someone has to find the answer on this."

Mazari said that the nation wants to know who made the conspiracy and who was involved in it because it ruined the economy of Pakistan, while a political turmoil persists in Punjab.

NSC was told no conspiracy was unearthed: DG ISPR

The military’s spokesperson lamented that propaganda was initiated against the army and the military leadership on social media.

Speaking about the National Security Committee (NSC) meeting, the DG ISPR said that the military leadership was present in the meeting and the participants were clearly briefed.

“[They were] briefed that there was no conspiracy or evidence of any kind [against the then government], nothing like that happened. Participants were told in detail that there was no evidence of any conspiracy,” said the DG ISPR.

'NSC meeting was state's stance, not an opinion'

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb responded to the PTI leaders' press conference, saying that whatever was stated in the NSC meeting was the state's stance, not an opinion.

Marriyum asked why the then PTI government not share new about the cable before if they already knew about it. She said that Imran Khan used the cable in their favour.

Marriyum said that Umar and Mazari appeared on TV channels after taking directives from Imran Khan.

“They target when their actions, corruption scandals and Farah Gogi’s corruptions are exposed. Now that the verdict has been reserved in the foreign funding case, they have started giving such statements," she said.

The minister asked Umar and Mazari to share who the prime minister was when the first NSC meeting was held and who chaired the meeting.

She said that a joint press release was issued after the meeting and it was endorsed by Imran Khan.

“If you disagreed with it and believed that there was a conspiracy and if the ‘foreign plot’ narrative was your own narrative then why did you endorse the press release?" she asked.

"When you saw yourself failing, you took the paper out of your pocket and said it was a foreign conspiracy".