In a first, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Maj General Asif Ghafoor hinted that the security establishment is keeping tabs on social media and monitoring “anti-state” accounts.
“We have the capability to monitor it [social media],” he said at a press briefing on Monday.
On a slideshow, he put up an image of a social media account showing how it was linked to several other accounts. He said that this account, whose picture was kept blank, had a habit of tweeting against the armed forces and the state. “Look who retweeted this account, and we know who these people are,” he said. “We understand the whole network.”
The DG said that from January to May 2018 the number of anti-states troll accounts operating domestically had gone up from 2,000 to 3,000. During the same period, the number of anti-state accounts overseas had reached over 10,000. “It shows how social media is being used to create ‘ripples’ in the county,” he said.
As long as these accounts target us personally, we practice restraint, he said. But when it comes to the state, we share this information with the relevant authorities and work on it, he added. These people, whose profiles have been blanked out, retweet anti-state tweets and encourage them.
We have to stay united and have to defeat them, he went on to say. This social media is not a threat as of now but countries that have control over this menace, they have done it by spreading awareness.
Ghafoor said that images that usually pop up on social media are not true.
The Spy Chronicles
Talking about former DG ISI General (retd) Asad Durrani’s book, Ghafoor said that as soon as it was published, he was called in for an explanation as he had not obtained an NoC to undertake it. An inquiry has been opened and it will be shared with the media, he added.
Ghafoor said it has been over 25 years since Durrani retired and all the incidents narrated in his book took place after his retirement.
Talking about the fight that broke out following a PTM gathering on Saturday, Ghafoor said Aman Committee members stopped Ali Wazir and PTM members from shouting anti-state slogans. Later on, a jirga was called to settle the dispute, where a scuffle broke out between the parties, he added.
Refuting that the army was party to the conflict, Ghafoor said their helicopters were used to transport the injured.
There is no space for war between Pakistan and India
DG ISPR said that the DGMOs of India and Pakistan have agreed to fully implement 2003 ceasefire understanding on May 29.
“We want respect the understanding,” he said. “The army doesn’t respond to attacks on its checkposts but when the Indian forces target civilians, we are compelled to response because we can’t ignore it.”
He said the Indians need to realize and understand that “we are two nuclear nations and there is no space for war”.
“Our desire of peace shouldn’t be taken as weakness,” he said.