Islamabad: Pakistan army denounced comments made by the ruling dispensation against Peshawar’s Corps Commander Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, terming them “very inappropriate”. Addressing a rally last week near Islamabad, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz had criticised Hameed while referring to Imran’s recent podcast appearance where he had said the former intelligence chief was the “eyes and ears” of the government. “We know that he wasn’t your eyes and ears (rather) he was your hands through which you throttled your political opponents,” she said.
Hameed, who served as the Inter-Services Intelligence chief from June 2019 to October 2021, has been under fire from senior politicians of major ruling coalition parties for his role as ISI chief under ousted PM Imran Khan.
Imran had opposed and confronted the country’s powerful security establishment when Lt Gen Hameed was transferred to Peshawar as corps commander by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
Hameed has been widely held responsible for “selecting” Imran to PM’s office by allegedly rigging the 2018 polls. Observers believe that Hameed was expected to become the next army chief if Imran had continued to stay in power. This fear, according to observers, had prompted the Imran’s opponents to remove him through a no-confidence vote in parliament. Reacting to the politicians’ attack, Pakistan military’s media arm, the Inter Services Public Relations, said, “Imprudent comments made by important senior politicians recently about Hameed are very inappropriate,” the ISPR statement read, adding that such statements undermined the honour and the morale of the institution and its leadership.
ISPR director-general Maj General Babar Iftikhar later added that the institution (army) was showing “tolerance and restraint and requesting that the army is not dragged into politics”. He said the appointment of the next army chief should not be made “controversial” by turning it into a topic of debate.