Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has issued fresh directives to all his commanders, and officials of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), to stay away from politics and avoid interacting with politicians, reports Ansar Abbasi for The News.

“These directions have been given in the wake of Imran Khan-led PTI propaganda against the establishment alleging certain ISI officials of having been involved in political engineering to manipulate the upcoming by-elections in Punjab to the disadvantage of PTI.”

The security establishment is of the view that the PTI should share evidence of the claims they are making. The establishment claims that even if an iota of evidence is provided, strict action would be initiated against those responsible.

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Former Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted, “The desire of the army chief is commendable but in my personal opinion, the army needs to make a three-year project through which the army can separate itself from politics.”

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Director-General (DG) ISI, Lieutenant-General Nadeem Anjum, made it clear in February to all officials of the ISI that no interference in politics and political matters would be tolerated.

The incumbent DG ISI decided soon after he joined the office to keep the institution away from politics.

Lt-Gen Anjum had conveyed to all the concerned authorities not to release to the media his pictures or video footage taken during official meetings.