Pakistan to retaliate if India targets innocent civilians: DG ISPR
RAWALPINDI: Indian army has continuously been breaching the ceasefire understanding of 2003, targeting innocent civilian population along the Line of Control (LoC). However, Pakistan army responds when Indian forces target civilians.
This was stated by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor at a press conference today.
He said Pakistan didn’t retaliate when India resorted to ceasefire violations following an agreement reached last week to implement the 2003 pact, but was forced to respond when the latter targeted civilians.
On more than 2,000 occasions, the ceasefire has been violated by the Indian side within 13 years of the agreement, he said and made it clear that Pakistan has been exercising restraint but its desire for peace should not be misinterpreted as weakness.
He said Pakistan has significant evidence of Indian involvement in terrorist activities in the country, which it refuses to accept. One instance of its involvement is Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav, who has been on death row for his involvement in terrorism acts in the country, he added.
He said India needs to realise where it wants to head in the future. “We are two nuclear powers and there is no space for war,” he clarified.
– Afghan peace –
Commenting on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace, Gen Ghafoor said a high-powered Afghan delegation visited Islamabad and held a meeting with the army chief in which peace plan was discussed in detail.
He said peace in the war-torn country has direct bearing on peace in Pakistan which has been making efforts for bringing peace to the country, he added.
The DG ISPR said Pakistan knew that 50 per cent of the Afghan territory was under influence of the Taliban militant, adding that it decided to carry out fencing of the Pak-Afghan border to stop cross-border attacks.
At least seven soldiers have been martyred during the fencing of the border, he said. However, he stated in clear terms that fencing along the border won’t stop owing to attacks.
Gen Ghafoor said the Haqqani Network and other militants have completely been eliminated from Pakistan while some elements took refuge in the Afghan camps.
– Fata-KP merger –
About merger of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said some tribal elders were not in favour of the amalgamation unlike youngsters of the region majority of whom supported the move.
– Anti-army propaganda –
Talking about the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), the ISPR director general said he had met its leaders – Manzoor Pashteen and Mohsin Dawar, who shared their concerns regarding the death of Naqeebullah Mehsud and missing persons.
“Their demands are justified and we assured them that their issues will be resolved. Then, all of sudden Manzoor Ahmed turned into Manzoor Pashteen. His IDs began to be operated from Afghanistan and other foreign countries,” he said.
Subsequently, protests were staged against the army not only in Pakistan but also abroad, he added.
The DG ISPR said a propaganda was initiated against Pakistan military with articles and campaign on social media to discredit the institution. He, however, admired the youth for responding to such propaganda on social media.
He said many allegations were levelled against the army in the past which proved wrong with the passage of time.
– The Spy Chronicles –
Gen Ghafoor said the military examined content of former chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General (retd) Asad Durrani’s book co-authored with former Indian spy chief.
“It has been 25 years since he retired from the army. Gen Durrani expounded on incidents which took place after his retirement. The institution [military] took notice as the book came out and sought an explanation from him.”
He said an inquiry has been ordered into the book and whatsoever will transpire thereof will be brought to the light.
The DG ISPR said the former spy chief didn’t seek no-objection certificate before authoring the book.
Asad Durrani, who served as the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) chief from August 1990 till March 1992, co-authored the book titled ‘The Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace’ with former Indian spy chief AS Dulat.