In an unprecedented event, for the first time in Pakistan's history, the head of the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) directly addressed the media on Thursday, 27 October.
The reported agenda of the press conference was to discuss the killing of journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya, and former PM Imran Khan's allegedly hostile approach towards the country's military.
The 49-year-old TV anchor who worked with Pakistan's ARY TV was known for being close to former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Sharif had fled the country to Kenya after he was charged with sedition by Pakistan's security agencies earlier this year.
On the night of 23 October, he was shot dead at a police checkpoint close to Nairobi. The Kenyan police claimed it to be a case of "mistaken identity."
ISI chief Lt Gen Nadeem Ahmed Anjum and Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Lt Gen Babar Iftikhar addressed the media. On Sharif's killing, they said that "it has to be examined whether this is a case of mistaken identity or one of targeted killing. There are several questions that have to be answered," as reported by Dawn.
Talking about Imran Khan, who had called the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa a "traitor" earlier this year before the former's ouster, the ISI chief said that while citizens can express their opinion, why did "you praise him so much in the past if he was a traitor?"
"If you see him as a traitor, then why do you meet him through the back door? […] Don’t do this where you meet quietly at night through the back door and express your unconstitutional wishes but call [the army chief] a traitor in broad daylight. That’s a big contradiction between your words and your actions," Anjum added.
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