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We will offer tea if PDM march towards GHQ: DG ISPR

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (DG-ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Monday has said that Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) doesn’t need to come to Rawalpindi and if they come, we will offer them refreshments (chai pani).

While addressing a press co‎nference in Rawalpindi, the DG ISPR told that in 2020, the coronavirus pandemic and locust attacks badly risked Pakistan’s food situation and economy. The state, institutions, armed forces and most importantly the Pakistani people unitedly faced these challenges, he added.

“I don’t see a reason for [them] coming to Pindi. And if at all they want to come, we will offer them refreshments (chai pani) and look after them. What more can I say?” the DG ISPR said.

While answering another question about the PDM’s allegations against the army, Maj Gen Iftikhar denied the impression that there was “no concern” within the army over the statements, but emphasised that the armed forces’ morale remained high.

“The army is doing its job despite whatever is being said. [But] the concern remains in its place,” he said.

In a reference to PDM’s statements, the DG ISPR said “the type of allegations that are being levelled have no weight”, and cited the allegation about the 2018 elections not being fair.

“The incumbent government asked the Pak Army to conduct elections and the Army conducted them with full responsibility and integrity.

“After that, if anyone has any problem regarding that, then all Pakistani institutions are working and they are the ones who have to decide on that and they should be approached,” he added.

Referring to rising political tensions in the country, Maj Gen Iftikhar said: “This is truly not a good thing […] but all said and done, the army is a subordinate institution of the government.”

He added that “whatever has been said, I think the government has given a very good response and is tackling it. Army neither has the need to interfere in political matters nor should attempts be made to drag it in.”

Asked about Prime Minister Imran’s statement that the opposition was asking the army to overthrow his government, the DG ISPR declined to comment. But he said there was “absolutely no” backdoor contact between the army and the opposition. “There is no such thing. We want to stay out of it and we are out of it,” he added.

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