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113 evacuation flights land in Islamabad as Pakistan contains fallout

DG ISPR says India's negative role in Afghanistan comes to an end

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 27, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
Posted: Aug 27, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

Major General Babar Iftikhar (TV Grab)

Pakistan has beefed up security on its border with Afghanistan in an attempt to contain the fallout from the volatile situation in the neighbouring country, according to Pakistan Army’s spokesman Major General Babar Iftikhar. However, the government has not stopped Afghan citizens from entering the country legally and 113 flights have landed in Pakistan so far, Gen Iftikhar told a press briefing on Friday.

Director-General Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar spoke about a host of Afghanistan related issues at the first such briefing since the Talian took over Kabul on August 15.

Here are some of the key highlights from the briefing.

  • At least 113 flights from Kabul have landed in Islamabad evacuating 5,500 people.
  • India played a negative role in Afghanistan and it would come to an end now.
  • Pakistan has completed 90% fencing of the border with Afghanistan.
  • Pakistan bore the maximum brunt of wars in Afghanistan.
  • In the last 20 years, Pakistani forces conducted 1,237 operations near its Western border.

Situation on Border

“All cross border illegal movement has been stopped. … We have no doubt that Pakistan side of the border is secured and stable. The movement on both sides is controlled,” Gen Iftikhar said.

He said Pakistan had started taking appropriate measures before the August 15 capture of Kabul by the Taliban. “On several instances, the notified border crossings were closed and re-opened because of the fluctuating situations on the other side of the border,” Gen Iftikhar said.

There are 78 crossings along the Pakistan Afghanistan border and 17 of them have been notified, according to DGISPR.

“After the August 15, terminals and border crossing have been kept open and the major reason is that Afghanistan is a landlocked country and you can not close the borders indefinitely,” Gen Iftikhar said.

The general said the situation along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border right now was “very normal” and no untoward incident was reported in the border region.

At least 90% of the border fence has been completed successfully, he said.

Evacuation to Pakistan

He said for the evacuation of foreigners the biggest base in the near-immediate vicinity of Afghanistan was in Pakistan, and more than 5,500 foreign nationals had been evacuated to the country. The general told the briefing that as of Friday 113 flights — operated by both military and commercial aircraft — had landed in Pakistan from Afghanistan.

He said Pakistan had also helped the Afghan National Army.

“On more than two occasions, several Afghan soldiers belonging to the Afghan National Army, entered Pakistan seeking safe passage because there was fear of Taliban attacking their posts. They were accepted, they were looked after, and they were given safe passage back into their country,” the military spokesman said.

India’s role ends

To a question, the spokesman said, India played a negative role in Afghanistan but there was hope that this negative role comes to an end now.

The general told the briefing that over the years Pakistani forces were deployed both on western and Eastern borders because India would often violate the 2003 ceasefire agreement with Pakistan.

“We were deployed on the eastern border, we were deployed on the western border as there was a massive conflict going on in Afghanistan and there were terrorist incidents happening inside Pakistan, so we were also deployed on internal securities. While this was happening, came 2014 and the ceasefire violations peaked. Since 2014, we have had 12,312 ceasefire violations on our eastern borders.”

Pakistan bore brunt

Gen Iftikhar said Pakistan bore the maximum brunt of whatever has unfolded in Afghanistan ever since the Soviet invasion, followed by Afghan Jihad and the civil war and then the war on terror in the last two decades. Pakistan has continuously been a victim of events in Pakistan.

During these 20 years, we conducted 1,237 major and minor operations and cleared more than 46,000 sq/kms of area along the western border from the terrorists and their infrastructure.

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