Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director General Lt. General Nadeem Anjum has reportedly issued strict orders warning all those under his command to keep their ‘distance’ from both politicians and political activities.
According to The Express Tribune, the orders were personally issued by the country’s spymaster. “They have been told in the strictest terms to stay away from politics and avoid any such activity,” sources claim.
The DG is reported to have said that there will be a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for anyone found violating this order, regardless of rank and tier. Anyone failing to comply with his orders will be removed from the spy agency.
The orders came a day after it was reported that the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa had instructed his key officials and commanders, including those in the ISI, to stay away from politics during a time when a ‘smear campaign’ was being conducted against the military.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership has been noticeably vocal in its criticism of the military establishment following the ouster of party Chairperson Imran Khan through a vote of no-confidence on April 10. However, Imran Khan continues to claim that the real conspiracy was orchestrated and backed by the United States.
Ahead of the upcoming elections, the party has started to insinuate that the military is engaging in ‘political engineering’ in support of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and its coalition partners.