RAWALPINDI: Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor on Thursday said that India is trying to divert world’s attention from “effective political struggle for freedom” in Indian-held Kashmir through allegations against Pakistan. The military spokesperson was addressing a press conference.
“India recently claimed that 10 of their soldiers came in Pakistan’s territory and killed Pakistani soldiers. But this is all false propaganda for their domestic audience to take focus off the effective political struggle they are facing for Kashmir’s freedom,” the Army spokesperson said.
He further said: “I would like to communicate to them that we are professional army and a very responsible state. We cannot be reactive to your self-deflating claims while our political, moral and diplomatic support continues and continue for just struggle of our Kashmiri brothers. You cannot lure us into unprofessional undertakings to reinforce your beaten narrative of our physical interference in Occupied Kashmir. The brave young Kashmiris are good enough for you, whom you could not suppress during the last 70 years. As the just struggle for their self-determination has grown into their DNA.”
Gen Ghafoor further briefed that terrorist hideouts were indiscriminately eliminated during Zarb-e-Azb in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and other parts of the country. “We are confident that no organized infrastructure of any terrorist organization exists in Pakistan.”
He mentioned that there had been unfounded statements from the US and Afghanistan regarding presence of terror outfits in Pakistan and we recently heard a threatening statement from the US. The government of Pakistan and the Foreign Office have already asserted their stance on this issue while Army Chief has also delivered his stance during interaction with the US and Afghan authorities.
“We have been saying that Pakistan has fought twice – an imposed and imported war inside Pakistan. We have sacrificed a lot and we have paid huge price, both in blood and treasure. We have done enough and we cannot do anymore for anyone. Whatever we are doing and shall do will only and only be done for Pakistan,” the DG ISPR clarified.
He mentioned that the aid Pakistan got through Coalition Support Fund (CSF) was the money provided to support the coalition. “Whatever money we got that was reimbursement of the money that we spent to support the coalition inside Afghanistan. Had we not supported, Al-Qaeda wouldn’t have been defeated by the US.”
Commenting on the US’s claims regarding the presence of banned outfits in Pakistan, Maj Ghafoor clarified that no organised infrastructure of any terrorist organisation is present in Pakistan.
“The other element is their blame for inaction against Haqqani Network that might have been relevant before Zarb-e-Azb but when we launched Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan, we undertook indiscriminate operations against terrorists of all hue and colors including Haqqanis. So this claim that inaction against Haqqani Network is no more valid,” he added.
“If there are facilitators or abettors in Pakistan, that can only be addressed if the 2.7 million Afghan refugees are sent back to Afghanistan and for this Afghanistan and United State have to create pull factors inside Afghanistan for their return.”
On efforts to control the cross border movement, Major General Asif Ghafoor highlighted that Pakistan has started to fence 2611 kilometers of Pak-Afghan border and construction of additional posts and forts on every 1.5 to 2 kilometers distance has also started.
“What else we can do? What else do more Afghanistan or the United States need from Pakistan? Actually, this is turn and time for Afghanistan and the US to do more rather than asking Pakistan,” the Army spokesperson asserted.
On US threats of unilateral action, he said: “What kind of friends or allies are we, that notices are being given, Pakistan cannot compromise on its prestige and integrity. When it comes to security of Pakistan we all are one.”
Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor called on the United States to check the anti-Pakistan Indian role not only from inside Afghanistan but also through the enhanced and increased ceasefire violations along Line of Control and Working Boundary “so that we remain focused on its efforts for peace not only in Pakistan but beyond the region.”
“In this context, we have already said that no amount of coercion can work. It is the only engagement and trust based cooperation which can take us forward towards enduring peace in the region.”
“The army took the situation in Balochistan into account and the army chief presented the Khushal Balochistan programme on November 15,” he said while discussing the army’s development projects in the area.
He added that the purpose of the programme is to provide resources to help speed up development, provide security, carry out action against terrorism, and cleanse the region of separatist elements. “As a result of the programme, over 2,000 Baloch nationalists have given up their arms.”
DG ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor briefed media that concerted efforts have brought about a sharp decline in civilian casualties in 2017.
While answering a question on Minister for Railway Saad Rafique’s remarks regarding junior officer’s apparent lack of commitment to the army chief’s orders, DG ISPR said, “The statement was extremely irresponsible and unwarranted as it targets the chain of command. The Pakistan Army is a disciplined institution and the army chief’s orders are followed without question.”
He further said: “The army takes pride in its discipline. These remarks should not have been made.” NNI