Former Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) director general (DG) Lt General (r) Zaheerul Islam has said that he never sought the resignation of prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
Speaking to a private media outlet on Wednesday, Islam also categorically denied that he had in 2014 sent any message through any person to the then PM Nawaz. “I never sent anyone to convey any such message to the premier,” he said, adding it was absolutely wrong.
Instead, Islam insisted that at every stage during the 2014 sit-in by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), he had advised the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to politically engage with the protesting parties to end the protest.
He was, however, reluctant to talk further on the subject.
Stepping back into the political limelight last month, Nawaz, who is seeking medical treatment abroad, had in a fiery speech said the entire country knows what the former ISI chief had done. He claimed that Islam had at midnight sent him a message seeking his resignation.
“He threatened to impose martial law if I didn’t step down but I refused to resign at all costs,” Nawaz had added.
Reacting to his statements, PM Imran Khan had said he would take on anyone who dares to tell him to step down as a democratically-elected PM.
“He [Nawaz] claims he was told by the army… Gen Zaheerul Islam… to resign. You are the PM… how can he dare to demand so from you?” the premier had said while speaking to senior journalist Nadeem Malik.
When asked what would Imran Khan do if he is asked to resign, the premier had said he, being the PM, would immediately ask for that person’s resignation. “I am the country’s PM,” he had said maintained.