Inter-Services Public Relations

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) is the media and public relations wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces. It coordinates and broadcasts news and information of military interests to the country's civilian media.[1]

Inter-Services Public Relations
بین الخدماتی تعلقات عامہ
Inter Services Public Relations Pakistan Logo.png
AbbreviationISPR
FormationMay 1949; 71 years ago (1949-05)
TypeMilitary organization
PurposeCivil–military relations
Location
Region
 Pakistan
Official language
Urdu, English
Maj. Gen. Babar Iftikhar
Parent organization
Pakistan Armed Forces
AffiliationsGovernment of Pakistan
Websitewww.ispr.gov.pk

The ISPR directorate serves the purpose of strengthening the military's relations with civil society through extensive interactions with the Pakistani media to provide a controlled insight into the military's inner circles for the general populace.[1] It also serves as the premier voice and face of the Pakistani military, with its director-general (colloquially referred to as the DG ISPR) serving as the official spokesperson of the armed forces.[1] Additionally, the ISPR provides funding and assists independent filmmakers in the production of military-related media such as military dramas and war films, while also producing promotional films and media of its own accord.[2]

Overview

The Directorate of the Inter–Services Public Relations (ISPR) was established in 1949 with army colonel Shahbaz Khan becoming its first director-general.[1] The ISPR operates as a unified public relations system for the Pakistan's military, which combined army, air force, navy, and marines.[1] The ISPR manage the public relations requirement of the armed forces, and is staff with the combined personnel of the military along with civilian officers.[1] It functions at the Joint Staff Headquarters (JS HQ) and plays an important role for gathering a national support for the armed forces at the public level.[1] The ISPR also strengthened support for the military's assigned contingency operations while undermining the will of the adversary.[1]

In views of US army colonel John Adache, the ISPR interfaces between the armed forces, civil media, and the civic society.[1] Furthermore, the ISPR also formulates the media policy of the unified armed forces, safeguards the military interests of the armed forces from negative influence, and monitors international and domestic media reporting regarding its military issues.[1]

On regular basis, the ISPR broadcasts the televised news regarding the strategic arsenals testings, contingency operations and military exercises— both at foreign and domestic areas. In Pakistan's military staff appointments and assignments, the ISPR is one of the most prestigious directorate of Pakistan Armed Forces.[1]

Its executive authority, a director-general, is a chief military spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces who reports to Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Secretariat; Chief of Army Staff as well the head also directly report to Chief of Air Staff, Commandant of Marines, and the Chief of Naval Staff.[1]

Operations

The ISPR directorate is staffed with combined personnel of Pakistan's unified military along with civilian bureaucrats and officials.[3] The ISPR functioned at the JS HQ and responsible for garnering national support for the armed forces as well as strengthen their resolve to accomplish the assigned mission while undermining the will of the adversary.

It also acts as an interface between the armed forces, the media and the public.[3] It formulates much of the media policy of Pakistan's military, safeguards the armed forces from negative influences and monitors both international and domestic media.

It is likely that the army is planning the further expansion of ISPR to counter negative propaganda against the state and armed forces by international powers and their funded domestic media campaigns, in ongoing operation against terror outfits and economic terrorism. That's why, for the first time in its history ISPR was being led by a three-star general, Lt-General Asim Saleem Bajwa.[4]

Principal media network

On regular basis, the ISPR release televised press releases on regarding the ongoing military exercises, and notified the civilian media about the ingenious strategic arsenal testings.[5][6]

Apart from functioning as the public relations body of the armed forces, the ISPR handles exclusive dissemination of information regarding Pakistan's ongoing military contingency operations.[3]

Controversies

In recent years, there have been accusations of ISPR going beyond its domain and meddling in media affairs to undermine democracy. Concerns have been raised on ISPR handling media channels (Bol TV, Pak TV et al.) and radio stations (FM 89.04, FM 96.00) to indoctrinate pro-military narrative.[7]

ISPR has regularly been criticized for posting inflammatory tweets on their official Twitter account. In April 2017, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor (a BPS-21 officer) posted a tweet 'rejecting' Prime Minister's directives to probe Dawn Leaks controversy.[8] After huge public outcry over the choice of words, ISPR had to redact its earlier tweet.[9]

Media productions

Since the 1990s, the ISPR has been producing miniseries, drama, and films on military fiction. Some of its works include: Alpha Bravo Charlie— a television series on Pakistan Army directed by Shoaib Mansoor in 1990

List of ISPR Director Generals

Rank and Name Start of Term End of Term
Colonel Shabaz Khan May 1949 July 1952[10]
Commodore Maqbool Hussain August 1952 October 1965[10]
Colonel Z. A. Suleri November 1965 August 1966[10]
Lieutenant Colonel Masud Ahmed September 1966 February 1967[10]
Brigadier A R Siddiqui March 1967 November 1973[10]
Brigadier Fazal ur Rehman December 1973 March 1977[10]
Brigadier T H Siddiqui April 1977 July 1985 [10]
Brigadier-General Siddique Salik August 1985 17 August 1988 [10]
Major General Riaz Ullah December 1988 September 1991 [10]
Major General Jahangir Nasrullah October 1991 April 1993[10]
Major General Khalid Bashir May 1993 July 1994[10]
Brigadier S M A Iqbal August 1994 February 1995 [10]
Major General Saleem Ullah March 1995 August 1998 [10]
Brigadier-General Ghazanfar Ali September 1998 October 1998 [10]
Major General Rashid Qureshi November 1998 May 2003 [10]
Major General Shaukat Sultan Khan June 2003 February 2007[10]
Major General Waheed Arshad February 2007 January 2008[10]
Major General Athar Abbas January 2008 June 2012[10]
Lt General Asim Saleem Bajwa 3 Jun 2012 11 December 2016[10]
Major General Asif Ghafoor 15 December 2016 31 January 2020
Major General Babar Iftikhar 1 February 2020 Incumbent

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Adache, PhD, Col. John (2014). The Military and Public Relations. Bloomington, Indiana [US]: AuthorHouse Publications. ISBN 1496982363. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  2. ^ WebDesk (15 November 2014). "Short film 'Defender' wins award at international defence film festival". The Express Tribune (newspaper). Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c staff. "The ISPR". Govt. of Pakistan (PowerPoint). Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  4. ^ staff. "Bajwa, three others promoted to Lt Gen rank". Samaa News. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  5. ^ "ISPR Press Release on testings". ISPR Press Release. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  6. ^ DG ISPR. "ISPR Press release". ISPR Press Release, timeline. Retrieved 18 November 2014.
  7. ^ "How many radio stations, journalists work for you? Asma Jahangir asks ISPR". Daily Pakistan Global. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Army rejects PM Office statement on Dawn Leaks report - The Express Tribune". The Express Tribune. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  9. ^ Dawn.com (10 May 2017). "Army withdraws tweet 'rejecting' PM Office's directives on Dawn story probe". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s "Ex Directors & Director General of ISPR". Inter-Services Public Relations website. 2 January 2007. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 29 March 2019.

External links