Islamabad: At a time when speculations are rife over the next Pakistan Army chief, spy agency chief Nadeem Anjum in a startling revelation claimed that Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was offered an 'indefinite extension' in March, media reports said.

General Nadeem said about how Imran Khan, in order to save his government, offered Bajwa to continue as the army chief for an indefinite period, reported The Express Tribune. He said that the real reason behind Imran Khan's anger against the army leadership was because Bajwa and his institution refused to play any unconstitutional role.

Pakistan spy chief Nadeem Anjum's unprecedented press conference over the mystery surrounding the killing of senior Pakistan journalist Arshad Sharif was held as the spy agency wanted to give a direct befitting reply to PTI chief Imran Khan who was making false statements by taking the names of top officials.

Pakistan spy chief Nadeem Anjum and Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Babar Iftikhar on Thursday held a press conference where one of the key takeaways was that the slain Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was fed propaganda on cypher by Imran Khan, reported The News International.

Responding to queries as to why ISI's chief Lt-Gen Nadeem Anjum had to come before the public the military sources told the media outlet, "attempts are being made to discredit the Pakistan Army on the killing of Arshad Sharif by creating propaganda against it, to turn friends into enemies in the name of a cypher."

"Calling their own army names and embarrassing them, aspersions are being cast on those who have been putting up with it all patiently for the last eight months. Linking false and fake statements to top officials, people are being misled," the source added.

Adding further it said, "When the State is in a state of war, the people and the army tackle it together." "An officer who had kept himself even from publishing his pictures was forced to take such a big step just because the country is in a difficult time," the source revealed.

"All these things had to be answered. But before that, every effort was made to quietly stop Imran Khan from trying to spread anarchy and ensure peace. But when the matter crossed the limit, this step had to be taken for the sake of the people, for the sake of the country."

The sources said, "now the nation should think for itself if saving people from death and the country from anarchy is cowardice, bargaining, weakness, or bravery. Senior officers left their offices behind and came forward, to tell the truth to the nation so that it realized the seriousness and sensitivity of the matter. On the other hand, since Imran Khan was making false statements by taking the names of top officials, it was necessary to give a direct reply," the sources concluded.

Arshad Sharif, who was living in hiding after allegedly receiving death threats for his critical reporting, was shot dead by law enforcement in Kenya on October 24. Arshad, who worked for numerous media outlets, was an outspoken critic of Pakistan's government.

DG ISPR General Iftikhar said Arshad Sharif conducted several programmes on cypher -- which Imran Khan has touted as evidence of a foreign conspiracy to oust his government. He held several meetings with the former premier and interviewed him, the DG ISPR said.

"As a result, it was stated that he was shown meeting minutes and the cypher." The facts behind the cypher and Sharif's death have to be determined, he said, the media portal said.

"It was surprising for us when on March 27 a piece of paper was waved and an attempt was made to build a narrative that was far from reality," Iftikhar added.

He said that several facts had come to light regarding the cypher revealing the "baseless and unfounded" narrative surrounding it. The ISPR informed the National Security Committee that no proof was found regarding the conspiracy against the PTI government, he said, adding that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also did not find any evidence regarding the conspiracy.

"This is all part of the record. We wanted to bring this to the public. And we left the decision to the the-then government."

Earlier, Imran Khan claimed that Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Donald Lu was involved in a "foreign conspiracy" to topple his government.