RAWALPINDI: Pakistan wants peaceful solutions to the disputes with India but no compromise can be made on the dignity and honor of the country, Director General Inter services Public Rleation (ISPR) Majore General Asif Ghafoor said here on Tuesday.
“Pakistan will, InshaAllah, take all kind of measures to make its defence strong. We will defend our frontiers, both on internal and external fronts,” he said while addressing a well attended press conference.
“India is our neighboring country. We do not want war with anyone; war is no solution to the problems. We want solution of all disputes including that of Kashmir through dialogue and peacefully. But our desire for peace should not be construed as our weakness,” he said in firm tone.
Pakistan Army is world’s only force that is, successfully, fighting on two fronts. On Eastern side, Pakistan Army is facing the Indian aggression on LoC and WB.
He said the country is being defended on both the fronts, successfully. India’s such attempts are focused on diverting Pakistan’s attention from fight against terrorism.
It is the resolve of Pakistan Army that national interest will be kept supreme, and to achieve that national interest, institutions of state will be extended all possible cooperation.
Refering to the Indian Army Chief’s recent statement regarding the Cold Start Doctrine he said it supplements Pakistan’s reservations about Indian plans. In the past, India has been refuting of the reality of this doctrine.
“We were of the view that India was acquiring this capability and its intentions could change anytime. Now the Indian Army Chief has not only approved of this capability,but he has also hinted at intensifying it.
This shows India’s intentions, which endorse the reservations Pakistan expressed time and again, he said.
“We have taken all the measures to effectively check all such moves in befitting manner,’ he said.
Divulging details about the ceasefire violation by Indian troops he saqid, during the last three years, total 945 ceasefire violations have been made on the Line of Control (LoC) and the Working Boundary (WB).
Only in last four months, violations have been made for 314 times. As a result, 46 Pakistan citizens have martyred. In retaliation, 40 Indian army men died.
This all is part of a well thought out design. India is doing so only to put Kashmir issue in the back burner, and hoodwink the world from atrocities it has unleashed on Kashmiri people.
The surgical strike drama was also the part of this design, he added.
On fight against terror, he recalled that during the years 2008 and 2009, no part of the country was safe from terrorists.
The terrorists were hitting every part of country from areas close to Afghan border, particularly North Waziristan.
He said Pakistan Army under an elaborate plan, started the operation from Bajaur, in order to eliminate terrorists without discrimination. This operation was extended to other Agencies like Mohmand, Swat, South Waziristan, Khyber, Kurram and Orakzai. And at the final stage it reached NWA under Zarb-e-Azb Operation.
In all these stages he said, “We as a nation played our part and role to rid the country of this menace. We in this war sacrificed overall 70,920 Pakistanis. This includes 21,839 shuhada and 49,081 injured.”
“Freedom and sovereignty of countries always demand sacrifices. And we are proud of the sacrifices we rendered”, he remarked.
Under Zarb-e-Azb initially operations were conducted in NWA and Khyber Agency, and in other parts of country Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) and Combing Operations were made.
Since the start of Zarb-e-Azb, Pakistan Army’s brave soldiers have conducted more than 26,000 Intelligence Based Operations (IBOs) and Combing Operations across Pakistan, which has improved the law and order situation.
In the Tribal Areas, KPK and other parts of the country where extremism was at its peak, now one can see peace returned as cadet colleges and hospitals are open, and the work on construction of roads is in full swing. Almost 84% of the Temporarily Displaced People (TDPs) have already returned to their homes. And the process of the return of remaining TDPs is quickly under way.
The sacrifices and cooperation of Pushtun brethren with the armed forces is the most important milestone of our collective success.
He made special mention that due to the operation some tribals, who had temporarily shifted to their relatives in Afghanistan, have now started coming back as the situation is normalizing here. Pakistan is facilitating their safe return.
“We also want peace restored in Afghanistan, so that the Afghan refugees in Pakistan may return to their homeland.”
With the successes of Zarb-e-Azb, which is continuing till the achievement of lasting peace, he said, security situation at the Afghan border has improved. He said this would certainly benefit Afghanistan as well.
“We have to make this success and peace result-oriented – on permanent basis. IBOs and Combing Operations will continue, so that the remnants of terrorists and their facilitators are eliminated.
“With the help of Allah and people’s backing, we can face any kind of threat and challenge. A lot of work has been done on our part to bring improvements in the Pak- Afghan border management; this includes border posts, crossing points mechanism and raising of 29 new wings of the Frontier Corps. “We do hope that Afghanistan will also take similar steps in this regard.”
On the law and order situation in Balochistan, he said it has improved.
He said this involves a lot of effort of the FC, provincial Law Enforcement Agencies and the Army. The terrorists who have been operating with the backing of RAW and NDS are now being checked.
“So far in Balochistan, around 3,000 IBOs have been conducted. During the year 2016, 189 Army, FC and Police personnel sacrificed their lives, while 376 Pakistan citizens got martyred.”
Besides improvement in the law and order situation, development work is also under way in the province. China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and Gwadar Port are the harbinger of Balochistan’s shining future. FWO has laid a network of 870 kilometers of roads across Balochistan, thanks to the hard work of FWO jawans.
In the journey of successes and gains, the cooperation and sacrifices rendered by our Baloch brethren is a laudable contribution.
He said Karachi’s situation has changed due to Rangers operation started two years before. Terrorist activities, bhatta-khori and target killing incidents have declined 90%.
However, street crime in Karachi still goes on. Rangers, Sindh Police and other law enforcement departments will continue their work with the help of citizens, and succeed.
So far in Karachi overall 8,840 operations have been conducted, during which 33 Rangers embraced shahadat and over 100 got injured. Besides Rangers, Sindh Police and civil administration also did a commendable job in conducting the operations, he said.
The success in war against terrorism is the result of an unprecedented cooperation between the three services. At every stage of the operation, Pakistan Air Force remained shoulder to shoulder with Pak Army.
While Pakistan Navy played its role, in highly professional manner, while protecting the coastal and adjacent areas.
This inter-coordination of the three services is a precious asset of nation’s fullest trust on its armed forces.
He said Pakistan Army is keeping a watchful eye on the briskly changing situation in the region, including Afghanistan.
“The people of Afghanistan and armed forces have also fought a hard war against terrorism. Afghanistan and Pakistan are brotherly countries. We are concerned with the situation in Afghanistan and we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Afghan brethren in their fight against terror.
“Terrorism is above any country and religion. We have to fight this menace by joining hands together. However, some elements in Afghanistan aim at blaming Pakistan,using all means.
The world at large and saner elements in Afghanistan are fully aware that Pakistan is not involved in terrorist activities inside Afghanistan.
The terrorist safe havens in FATA have been eliminated through effective operations against terrorism. Most of the terrorists have been killed or the remaining have taken refuge in safe havens inside Afghanistan because of the absence of Afghan army there.
TTP’s leadership is holding sanctuaries in Afghanistan for the last many years.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) talked to the Afghan leadership and condemned the blasts and expressed his grief over the loss of precious lives, he said.
The Army Chief expressed his resolve in clear words that Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan and will continue the fight against terrorism by joining hands together with the Afghan government.
The Army Chief suggested an effective and robust Border Bilateral Management as well as Intelligence Sharing. We hope that a positive response will come in this regard. We have repeatedly said that we will not let our soil used against any other country.
Pakistan Army is helping the census process set to start from March 15. All planning has been made in this regard.
Two lakh jawans will participate in conducting the census. Besides this, Pakistan Army will continue doing its other operational duties.
Pakistan’s national security depends on the Armed Forces’ valour and chivalry, patriotism and professionalism; it depends on national unity, cohesiveness and strength of constitutional and democratic system.
“It is our belief that each citizen of Pakistan is the soldier of his own front.
Unfortunate it is that some elements are damaging the national harmony through giving an impression of uncertainty and instability, he said.
“Hearsay and rumor mongering over sensitive issues can create wedge between the pillars of state. We firmly believe that our defence and security, development and prosperity are closely interlinked with cohesiveness and strength of institutions. Our beloved country will further grow, develop and prosper if we remain united in our fight till complete eradication of terrorism.”
He appreciated the role of the media towards forging national harmony and unity, and in rejecting the narratives of terrorists. The responsible circles of media and their organizations must discourage the irresponsible elements.
When he was asked to comment on Pakistan Army soldier and officer relationship he said Paskistani soldiers are the best in the world and an officer-soldier relation is unprecedented.
When asked to comment on the arrest of Hafiz Saeed he said it is the decision of the state. —APP