ISPR denies media report on events at PM House

Islamabad, April 10 (IANS) The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Pakistan military’s media wing, on Sunday rejected a media report over alleged events that took place at the Prime Minister’s House the previous night, saying it was “totally baseless and a pack of lies”.

The BBC Urdu report alleged that “two uninvited guests” reached the Prime Minister’s House, with an extraordinary security detail, via helicopter and held a 45-minute private meeting with ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dawn news reported.

The biggest claim in the report, made by citing government sources, was that the meeting was less than pleasant.

“Just an hour ago, former Prime Minister Imran Khan had given orders to remove one of the senior officials present for the meeting,” the report said.

It went on to say that the sudden arrival of the guests was “unexpected” for the former premier, adding that Khan was instead expecting the arrival of his “newly appointed officials”.

The report further alleged that the necessary notifications for the removal and the new appointment were not issued by the Ministry of Defence.

“Even if the removal was carried out on the prime minister’s orders, preparations had been made to declare it null and void.”

The report also talked about how the doors of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) were open late at night to take up a petition asking the court to restrain Khan from possibly de-notifying Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The urgent petition, which was filed but never fixed for hearing, said that Khan, for political and personal purposes, had misused his powers and recommended the removal of the Chief of Army Staff, urging the court to quash the order in public interest, the report said.

“It is important to mention that while the petition was prepared, the space for the number of the notification regarding the army chief’s dismissal was left blank. The reason for this was that despite the Prime Minister’s request, the notification could not be issued and there was no need for a hearing,” the report concluded.

Reacting to the BBC Urdu report, the ISPR branded the story “typical propaganda” lacking “any credible, authentic and relevant source” and claiming that it “violates basic journalistic ethos”, Dawn news reported.

“There is no truth in the fake story whatsoever and clearly seems part of an organised disinformation campaign. The matter is being taken up with BBC authorities,” it added.