ISLAMABAD - Secretary Defence Asif Yasin Malik has said that the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) does not have any political cell ‘anymore’ and it would not interfere in the upcoming general elections.
Appearing before the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defence on Wednesday during its scheduled session, the secretary defence reiterated that there was ‘no question’ about the ISI involvement in the polls process.
“There’s no question this is going to happen. As secretary defence, I assure you this will not happen. The ISI political cell is non-existent for a long time,” the secretary claimed while astonished members of NA panel looked at each other in amazement upon getting to hear what came to them as a surprise.
“Is this man really speaking the truth?” asked a female member of the NA panel in a whispering murmur to her male counterpart. Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho chaired the defence committee’s Wednesday session.
The secretary defence told the committee that no permission had been given to the US Army Corps to build a compound at the Karachi Airport and the report published in an English daily newspaper on Tuesday was unfounded and baseless. He claimed, the defence ministry had taken ‘notice’ of the project tender document released from the US Army Corps of Engineer in the Middle East for the construction of the compound.
During the last hearing of the committee held few days back, Asif Yasin came under immense criticism after he finally spoke the truth that an AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft of Pakistan Air Force (PAF) that was destroyed in attack on Kamra airbase valued 25 billion rupees and 16 defence installations were attacked in the last three years.
On Wednesday, however, Malik claimed before the standing committee that all three armed forces were ‘fully aware of terrorism threats to their installations’. He further claimed that army commandoes had been deployed for the protection of the Pakistan Air Force and Navy’s facilities besides the military facilities.