PTI says DG ISPR’s press conference ‘full of contradictions, devoid of rationale’

Published May 7, 2024
PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan while speaking to the press on Tuesday. —DawnNewsTV
PTI spokesperson Raoof Hassan while speaking to the press on Tuesday. —DawnNewsTV

Hours after a press conference by the military spokesperson on the events of May 9 and the PTI’s alleged involvement in them, party spokesperson Raoof Hasan termed it as being “full of contradictions”.

Earlier today, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif said that any dialogue with the PTI could happen only if it “earnestly apologises in front of the nation, promises to adopt constructive politics and forgoes politics of anarchy”.

The DG ISPR made the remarks in a lengthy press conference in Rawalpindi just two days before May 9 — a day that holds significant importance in the country’s political landscape as it was on this day last year when military installations came under attack following PTI founder Imran Khan’s arrest, which formed the basis of a severe state crackdown against him and his party.

Speaking to the media in Islamabad after the ISPR press conference, Hasan said it reflected “a mind full of contradictions because at the end of it all I could not understand anything”.

He added that he could not understand “why there is such frustration and what are the factors that propel them again and again to give such statements which have no rationale or logic”.

Hasan noted that the “most humorous” part of the ISPR press conference was there was “no danger to democracy”, adding that “danger is present to that which exists. What threat can there be to something that is not even present?”

The party spokesperson claimed that multiple attempts were made to target PTI. “However, as time passes and their frustration increases, there has been an increase in the intensity and venom targeting the PTI,” he added.

Hasan said he usually avoided material “devoid of substance or meaning” but the press conference he heard contained the kind of “venom which is not appropriate for state, society and the relationship with institutions”.

The PTI spokesperson said there was a “one-person diktat and dictatorship present on whose basis the country is being run and it will unravel soon, it cannot persist for long.”

Addressing the points raised by the DG ISPR, Hasan said: “We challenge them on all the things he said to bring evidence for it before the nation and the easiest way for that … is to institute an independent transparent judicial inquiry” to determine the culprits and planners of the events on May 9.

“They say that they are ready to make such a judicial commission, but the judicial commission will talk about the 2014 sit-in, it would also talk about the attack on the Parliament etc and we agree to it,” he said, however, adding that the commission should also probe the cipher case, the PTI government’s ouster, the attempted assassination on Imran, audio leaks and the alleged rigging in the February 8 elections.

“These are all the things that we have demanded and if DG ISPR wants to form a judicial commission with two of his conditions then we would support them as there is no other way to ascertain who committed the crimes and why and who was supporting them,” he said, stating that the PTI was not involved in the events.

Hasan said the commission should be independent and not “subservient to the military”.

The PTI spokesperson also questioned the DG ISPR’s “distortion” in saying that only seven per cent of the people voted for the party.

As per Gallup, PTI-affiliated independent candidates had secured 31.2pc of the vote in the general elections.

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