ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army chief spokesman Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor on Saturday voiced his disappointment over Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal's remarks regarding latter's comments on state of economy in the country.
Addressing a press conference here, DG ISPR Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said that there was a lot of debate in media and political parties about his statements regarding Pakistan’s economic indicators not being positive.
"It was said that such a statement comes from an enemy. I am disappointed more as a soldier and then as a citizen of Pakistan after hearing the response of the honorable Interior Minister," he said.
"I made the statement in the context of a seminar held in Karachi where Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) also gave a keynote address," he said, adding that the seminar was about security and economy and two issues were inter-linked.
The seminar, he noted, was also attended by members of business community and economists.
"As a citizen of Pakistan, I stand by my comments," he said.
"I never said that our economic situation is fragile, but there is always room for improvement. We will be a strong economy where Pakistani will feel secure."
To a question, he said that there was no threat to democracy in Pakistan and if there any it was due to the failure to fulfill democratic requirements.
"I have to say this because there are a lot of rumours about martial law and (the installation of a) technocrat government," he added.
Rescue of Western hostages
"We received a phone call from US ambassador at 4:10pm that a Canadian hostage and his family is being transported to Pakistan's Kurram Agency area from Afghanistan," he said. "We were requested to help secure their release without compromising their safety," he said.
"We have good presence in that area but it doesn’t mean we are present on every inch. We immediately dispatched our troops to tribal areas on the basis of intelligence information," he said.
"Our first priority was to rescue the hostages safely and we ensured that," Ghafoor said. "The kidnappers were using two vehicles. We detached the two vehicles and managed to safely recover the hostages."
The DG ISPR said that there was no no-go area in any part of Pakistan anymore.
Pakistan, he said, looks forward to a trust-based relationship with the United States. "We will continue to extend our cooperation with the US for regional security and stability," he said.
The DG ISPR also played a video in which the rescued Canadian hostage praised Pakistan's army for their safe recovery.
He also ruled out the possibility of joint operations in Pakistan with the US forces.
The army spokesman also welcomed US President Donald Trump's statement in which he thanked Pakistan for the safe recovery of hostages. - SAMAA