January 16, 2020
ISLAMABAD—Journalists took to Twitter to comment on the change of command at the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Thursday.
Dawn’s Khaleeq Kiani hoped the new director-general of ISPR would limit himself to military issues while making public pronouncements, indirectly criticizing the outgoing Gen. Asif Ghafoor (pictured). “Hopefully, the new @OfficialDGISPR will respond only where military response is necessary.”
Hassan Zaidi, Editor Magazines of Dawn, said that the appointment of a new DG in ISPR should not be news, but in Pakistan it is. “DG ISPR changed. Reportedly Maj Gen Baber Iftikhar to replace Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor. In No other country would this merit a mention on the news but here we are.”
Columnist Ammar Ali Qureshi thought the change was long overdue. “If reports on twitter are correct, removing Gen Asif Ghafoor as DG ISPR was the right move - long overdue. He exposed himself to lot of ridicule on twitter by tweeting unnecessarily about everything- stuff which is outside his professional expertise.”
In a tweet in Urdu, anchor Dr. Danish also termed the change a positive step.
Analyst Imtiaz Alam however, thought there is more to what meets the eye. He asked why the DG ISPR has been changed suddenly, wondering if it had something to do with the boot theatrics of Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda. “The minister is not ready to apologize. Does this change has anything to do with the meeting between the army chief and the prime minister? What will become of the minister?”
Talat Hussian, formerly of Geo, was unforgiving. “Removal of Gen Asif Ghafoor as DG ISPR is an important step to refashion the Army’s image in COAS Bajwa’s second term. The x DG had turned ISPR into Ghafoor-PR with his frivolous pursuits, outlandish ideas, and obsessive self-projection.”
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