Pakistan wiped out sanctuaries of all terrorist groups: DG ISPR
DUBAI: Pakistan has eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups, including the Haqqani Network, from its soil through a well-thought-out military campaign, said Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations.
In an interview with Gulf News, he said Pakistan had to pay a huge price in the offensive against militants, which included loss of over 75,000 lives and more than $123 billion to the national exchequer.
DG ISPR stressed the importance for resolving all long-standing issues, including that of Kashmir, to usher in peace between two nuclear-armed countries – Pakistan and India.
He said Pakistan has fought a successful war against terrorism, effects of which have visibly reduced the level of violence throughout the country.
“There are no more organised sanctuaries, for elimination of remaining disorganised scanty residual presence of militants, Operation Raddul Fasaad, a largely intelligence-based operation is in progress.”
The top military official emphasized the need for respectable repatriation of 2.7 millions Afghan refugees residing inside Pakistan as he said militants took their advantage to disguise as peaceful refugees.
He said Pakistan has started to fence entire 2,611-km length of Pak-Afghan border and construction of new posts along the border to deny free cross-border movement of terrorists.
Ghafoor said besides operations, Pakistan has undertaken major socio-economic development projects in cleared areas to carry forward relative stability to enduring peace.
On the possibility of peace between India and Pakistan, he said India is not only challenging Pakistan conventionally along the eastern borders, but is busy in fomenting unrest through terrorism using Afghan soil.
He said Pakistan had arrested a serving Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav working as RAW agent in Pakistan. However, Pakistan’s desire for peace should never be construed as its weakness.
For normalized Indo-Pak relationship, the DG ISPR said all issues including the core issue of Kashmir between the two nuclear countries needed to be resolved.
He said present violence inside Afghanistan should not be linked to Pakistan. To ensure enduring peace in Afghanistan, he said, ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan would have to be cleared by Afghan and Resolute Support Mission Forces.
On CPEC, he said enemies of peace and Pakistan are trying to scuttle CPEC, but Pakistan would never let them succeed.
He said Pakistan Army has the responsibility for security of the project, which is engine of progress not only for Pakistan but for the region.