By Minerwa Tahir
NEWS DESK: We have done enough and cannot do more for anyone except Pakistan, said DG ISPR Major Gen Asif Ghafoor while addressing the media in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
Instead, he said, the United States (US) and Afghanistan should be asked to do more. According to the army’s spokesperson, there is no organized structure of any terror outfit any more in Pakistan. He added that if there are any facilitators of terrorists in Pakistan, the issue can only be addressed by sending back the Afghan refugees. He was of the view that Afghan cooperation was needed for that.
"What else can we do?"
He said that the army has begun fencing of the border with Afghanistan while additional FC wings are also operational.
“What else can we do?” he asked. “It is time for the United States and Afghanistan to do more instead of asking Pakistan to do more.”
Peace in Afghanistan
According to the ISPR chief, the army understands that peace in Afghanistan is essential for peace in Afghanistan. He said the US should check on the anti-Pakistan Indian role not only through Afghanistan but also carried out through ceasefire violations on part of India.
Ghafoor said that we are not fighting the war on terror for money, adding that we can work with friends but can’t compromise on our self-respect and honor. “No amount of coercion can work,” he said. “Only cooperation can help ensure peace.”
He said that most of the suicide bombers in Pakistan were Afghanis.
“Pakistan is a responsible state,” he said. “India earlier staged the surgical strikes drama.” He said India had been spreading false propaganda and Pakistan will not react to such false lies anymore.
Talking about India’s statements regarding Kulbhushan Yadav who has been convicted by a military court, Ghafoor lauded and thanked the media for not publishing what was being aired on Indian media. He further advised the media against giving space to “Indian propaganda”. The armed forces of Pakistan just need your love, he told the nation and media.
Even if you do something good, Indian media will bash us, he said, adding that we are a responsible and humanitarian state and gave Kulbhushan’s family a chance to meet him, which is something India should appreciate.
"Anti-Pakistan sentiments on social media"
Talking about “anti-Pakistan” sentiments on social media, he said that a lot is said on social media these days. “One has to be careful because if something that is written which is false and untrue it can serve to lower the morale of the armed forces even as they risk their lives to fight terrorism,” he said.
Regarding Balochistan, he said the army had been making concerted efforts for peace. “We have been working for peace in Balochistan but due to terrorism it could not be done to the extent that was needed,” he added.
He said the army had initiated a “Khush-Haal Balochistan” programme, whose aim is to provide socio-economic opportunities to the Baloch people. He identified four objectives of the programmes as: 1. Enhancing development work in Balochistan; 2. Provision of security by the armed forces; 3. Handling terrorist; and 4. Handling nationalists working on foreign agenda.
“The nationalists have failed to stoke anti-Pakistan sentiment in patriotic Baloch’ minds in the past 70 years, what can they do now?” he asked. He referred to how the Swiss government denied entry to Mehran Marri and asylum request of Brahamdagh Bugti, both of whom are Baloch nationalist leaders living abroad.
The army spokesperson also talked about Karachi and the ongoing operation. “As compared to 2013, Karachi is much peaceful now and law and order has improved,” he said. He added that terrorist incidents, targeted killings and kidnappings have reduced in the city. According to him, street crime will reduce when the police act effectively. “Coordination of Rangers and police needs to be further improved,” he said.
"Iran and ziarat"
Talking about relations with Iran, he said the country has agreed to fence the border on their part as well. “As for the Shia people who go to Iran for ziarat, we have had discussions with Iran for facilities for them and how border routes can be opened for them,” he said.
According to Ghafoor, terror incidents in Pakistan have reduced remarkably between 2013 and 2017. Talking about Operation Raddul Fasaad, he said that numerous intelligence-based operations (IPOs) were carried out across the country. He said IPOs’ details are not shared with media but their number is huge. “Thousands of IPOs have been carried out and have yielded results,” he added.
Furthermore, he said 96% of internally displaced people (IDPs) have been rehabilitated after successful operations. “The remaining 4% perhaps don’t want to go back.”