Speaks about country's success against terrorism, Indian chronicles
The Pakistan Army will offer tea, snacks, and look after the Pakistan Democratic Movement protesters if they arrive in Rawalpindi, said ISPR DG Major General Babar Iftikhar during a media briefing on Monday.
“I see no reason for them to come to Pindi, but if they want to come then we will look after them,” he said while responding to a question about the opposition alliance’s march to Rawalpindi.
At the start of the press conference, he remarked that it is being held to tell the people of Pakistan about the country’s success against terrorism and brief them about the challenges it is currently facing.
At present, no organised terrorist structure is operating in the country. Pakistan has faced very challenging times during the last 10 years, he remarked. In 2020, our challenges included the locust invasion and COVID-19 pandemic. Along with this, India continued to violate the ceasefire agreement on our eastern border, while many terror attacks occurred on our western border.
“Despite all these challenges, the Pakistan Army, intelligence agencies, and people remained united to combat all them.”
We have taken steps to ensure the security of our border with Afghanistan and Iran and initiated many socio-economic projects on the western border, he said.
We even brought to the forefront the lies being spread by India, said Major General Iftikhar. The world has acknowledged it too because the truth always prevails, he added.
The Pakistan Army media spokesperson then presented three years’ statistics of Operation Raddul Fasaad.
Pakistan conducted a total of 371, 173 intelligence-based operations during the operation during which 72,227 weapons were recovered. Most IBOs (170,079) were conducted in Sindh followed by 89,827 in KP, 77,263 in Balochistan and 34,004 in Punjab.
From 2007 to 2008, the Pakistan government had only 37% control of KP. Today, all tribal districts are under government control, he said.
In 2013, Pakistan was reporting 90 terrorist attacks a year and now the number has decreased to 13, said the ISPR chief.
He credited law enforcement agencies with averting 50 terrorist attacks in 2020. “Suicide attacks have gone down by 97%.”
In 2014, Karachi ranked number six on the Crime Index and is now on 103, he said. In Karachi, terror attacks have reduced by 95%, target killings by 98%, extortions by 99%, and kidnappings by 98%, he said.
Pakistan is trying to manage the situation at its western border by installing border terminals, biometric systems, and fencing. The fencing project on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is 83% completed while that on the Pakistan-Iran border has been 37% completed. We hope to complete them by this year, he said.
There has been a 55% decrease in bomb blasts near border areas, and IED blasts have gone down by 16%, said the military spokesperson.
He added that this has, however, been coupled with an increase in Indian violations of the ceasefire agreements on Pakistan’s eastern border. Populated areas were also targeted by Indian border forces.
Last year, we recorded 3,097 violations and 28 people were killed, he said.
The violations have increased from 2013 to 2020. The most violations were reported in 2013, while the most people died in 2018, he told the press.
India has been engaging in hybrid warfare against Pakistan for the last 15 years and irrefutable evidence has been gathered by the EU DisInfo Lab, he said.
The Pakistan Army chief has spoken about it on different occasions to spread awareness, he added. “Let’s look at what India and Pakistan have been busy doing in the last 15 years.”
Pakistan was fighting a war against terrorism and played the role of a responsible democracy, said Major General Iftikhar. In the last two decades, we have conducted 1,237 operations and killed 18,000 terrorists. Eleven thousand alQaeda terrorists were arrested too, he said.
The country also passed laws to curb terrorist activity and regularise arms trade, he said.
India has, on the other hand, done the following things:
We know that a fake network was being run by Delhi-based Srivastava group, he said, referring to Indian Chronicles. “They were involved in spreading anti-Pakistan sentiment across the globe.”
This campaign has affected Pakistan’s reputation in the last 15 years on the following fronts:
This should serve as a call to action for decision-makers to put in place a relevant framework to sanction actors and governments abusing international institutions, influencing decision makers, and misleading world opinion, he added.
He remarked that many development projects have been initiated in Balochistan and KP.
Giving a breakdown of the projects, he said that they have started 10 health projects, 42 transport projects, three projects for social welfare, 20 for agriculture, and 18 for education.
All these projects are because of the security dividends, for which we have sacrificed a lot in the last two decades, he said.
“As a nation, we fought covid-19 with intelligence and practicality. All doctors, paramedics, and all organizations working against the virus deserve recognition for their endeavors.”
He remarked that the media played its role with responsibility and uncovered the countless Indian conspiracies.
“Our enemies are trying to divide us but we have to stay united and play our role in uniting the nation. When we took on this challenge, the enormity of this challenge was decidedly overwhelming but with Allah’s help and the resolute support of our great nation, we took it on and have taken many hits on the way but we did not relent or budge.”
During this whole course, we have come a long way as a nation, as a society, and as a military. The challenges that we overcame are now giving way to great opportunities. We are not out of the woods yet but we are almost there. “We have stayed the course and we will stay the course no matter what,” he added.
When asked about the presence of Daesh in the court, the spokesperson said that they have already given details that there is “external support” to form a Daesh-Pakistan wing. “This presence is not prominent. They are trying to make the presence felt with splinter groups but we are taking care of that, and we assure you that they will not be able to establish any permanent footprint.”
Maj Gen Iftikhar said that he will avoid commenting on the country’s politics, adding that the morale of the Pakistan Army is quite high. “We will stay the course.”
There is no weight to the accusations against the army. The government approached the army to hold the elections, and if someone has any problem, then they are free to approach other institutions over it. “All said and done, the Pakistan Army is subservient to the government.” The army does not need to interfere in the country’s politics.
On questions on India, he remarked that the worst kind of human rights violations have been reported in the Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir. “We know their [India’s] capability and preparations are done against capability. We issued a threat alert too.” We are ready to take on any challenge.
“What the international community needs to, however, understand is that conventional balance in South Asia is very important. If the balance is topped then things will enter another domain—which no one can afford.” For now, we are absolutely ready for whatever they can bring out, he added.