Rawalpindi (June 04, 2018): Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Monday that Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness, as he briefed media on ceasefire violations by India.
Addressing a press conference, Major General Asif Ghafoor shared that India has carried out 1,077 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018 to date.
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Referring to a special hotline contact established between the Director-Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India last week, Major General Ghafoor said that what was agreed upon in the contact should be implemented. India violated the ceasefire agreement after May 29, he pointed out.
The DG ISPR said India mostly targets innocent civilians. “If India fires the first bullet and no harm is incurred, we will not respond. If India fires the second bullet, then we will give a befitting response,” he warned.
“Our defence, our desire for peace, should not be mistaken for weakness.”
The army spokesperson shared that the [recent] meeting between Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and the Afghan delegation was positive.“Nobody wishes for peace in Afghanistan more than Pakistan,” he added.
He said that there was no space for war between Pakistan and India, two nuclear powers of the sub-continent.
He complimented the Pakistani media on showing responsibility on the matter and not inciting provocation, adding that Pakistan wants to respect the truce agreement.
“The Indians have to realise and understand where they want to go [in the future],” he said. “We are two nuclear powers, and there is no space for war.”
Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be construed as a weakness, the chief of the military’s media wing stressed.Afghanistan and border fencing
Briefing journalists about the situation on the western front, the DG ISPR said seven Pakistani officers were martyred in 71 incidents of firing from across the Afghan border in May.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said that the country’s relations with the United States are strained, but the Pakistani stance was that the army with the help of the public has fought terrorism and done what no other armed force in the world could manage.
“We have learned that national interest comes first, we will not compromise on that.”
He said that there was no stable presence of the Haqqani Network but that their residual strength remains. “Prior to Zarb-i-Azb [military operation] it was a question of capacity, not resolve,” he said.The military desires respectable repatriation of Afghan refugees from Pakistan, after which the army can target all remaining terrorist networks, he said.
The DG ISPR said that there were 71 incidents of cross-border terrorism ever since Pakistan started fencing its border with Afghanistan.
“There is no organized militant network, including Haqqanis, in Pakistan. We now want respectful repatriation of Afghan refugees from our country,” he added.
He said that even Americans realize that there was significant after military operations in Waziristan.The DG ISPR said that Hazara community expressed its joy when LeJ commander Salman Badeni was killed in Balochistan. He said that terror incidents dropped after the killing of Salman Badeni.
FATA, he said, was now a part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and everybody should work to build it.
Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor said that he had personally met PTM members including Mohsin Dawar and Manzoor Ahmed.
“I held a separate meeting with Mohsin Dawar and Manzoor Pashteen and then arranged their meeting with military officers to resolve their issues,” he said.
“Dawar sent me a text and thanked me for addressing his issues. But all of a sudden, hundreds of social media accounts were created to launch anti-Pakistan propaganda,” he said.“How could so many caps were made? How could foreign media start telecasting their protests live? Thankfully, local media ignored their propaganda,” he said.
Ghafoor said that Chief of the Army Staff had strictly advised the forces to avoid use of force against PTM’s members.
“We now have strong evidence to prove that PTM is being exploited by foreign elements,” he said.
In Wana, PTM people started anti-army slogans, he said, adding that people from peace committee asked them to stop chanting before a clash broke out between them.
“Army helicopters were used to transport the injured people to hospitals. But unfortunately, they started sharing a fake photograph of some girl being shot. There was no such casualty in Wana.”“It doesn’t affect us if you make false claims on social media. The people of Pakistan greatly respect armed forces because of the sacrifices they have given in the war against terrorism.”
He said that “our focus is on the job and we should not deviate from it.”
Pakistan army is the only force which has won the war against terrorism, he said.
“Whoever wears uniform be it police, army, FC, Rangers is part of us. They all are in the line of fire and they are doing it for the country.”
The army chief spokesman has urged critics not to undermine the country’s sacrifices to build their own career.
In Karachi, he said that people must reject a politico-criminal nexus .Social media launches propaganda
Asif Ghafoor said that thousands of fake accounts were set up on social media to launch a propaganda.
“We need to check what to tweet and what no to. Social media is a lethal threat to young generation than the grown-ups,” he said.
He said that some accounts being run in the name of army or defence institutions were reported to FIA for action.
“Pakistan army is a national force and we cannot afford a discord or division in the country,” he added.To a question, he said that Asad Durrani was a three-star general who was given early retirement due to disciplinary issues.
“We have ordered a court of inquiry against his book. The finding of the inquiry will be shared with media,” he said.
He said that Durrani was entitled to his opinion, but there was some discipline for head of institutions. “Durrani had not acquired an NoC from us for the book. If he had acquired it, he would not have faced such a situation.”
Responding to a question, he said that politician parties must not drag army in politics. “All the allegations hurled against army were proved wrong.”
‘Army congratulates govt on completing tenure’
Responding to a journalist’s question, Major General Ghafoor said the Pakistan Army congratulates the government on completing its tenure.“2018 is a year of changes. Political parties are [competing] against one another,” he said, adding that the army is pleased that the second [consecutive] democratic government completed its tenure.
He said that security forces should not be dragged into accusations, and with time all accusations have proven to be false.
The Spy Chronicles controversy
Addressing the matter of retired Lt Gen Asad Durrani’s controversial book, Maj Gen Ghafoor assured that an inquiry was ongoing and whatever came of it would be shared with the media.
He also noted that Durrani’s book referred to incidents that took place after the former DG ISI’s tenure.
“He has only offered his opinion on them,” he noted, later adding that had the former spymaster asked for a no-objection certificate from the army, the matter would never have arisen.He added that the reason the forces reacted so sharply to Durrani’s book was because of his post at the time of his retirement.
“Pakistan Army has never forgiven any mistake, whether made by a soldier or a general,” he said.
He also recalled Durrani’s dismissal from service, saying that who he was as a person was not the army’s concern, but who he had been as part of the institution necessitated a review of his actions.