RAWALPINDI – Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor hailed the smooth transition of power in the country and contended that Haqqani Network or any other militant group was not operating inside Pakistan.
Addressing a press conference at the General Head Quarters (GHQ), the official highlighted that a safe Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan but hastened to add that Pakistan’s desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness.
Regarding the border clashes with India, the military’s spokesperson said that India targets civilian population in ceasefire violations.
” India has carried out 1,077 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018 to date. From 2013 till now, 48 people have been martyred due to unprovoked firing by India,” disclosed the official.
He continued that Pakistan wanted to honour the ceasefire truce but decried that Indian media misreported about violation from Pakistan’s side.
“Pakistan has always acted with responsibility and wants the implementation of the agreement reached between DGMOs,” shared the spokesperson.
He clarified that if India fires the first bullet and no harm is incurred, Pakistan will not respond but also warned that if India fires the second bullet, then Pakistan will give a befitting response.
The Pak Army spokesperson hailed the smooth transition from a democratically elected government to its successor.
“Pak Army is the happiest entity over the successful completion of democratic government,” he shared.
He expressed that it was the duty of Election Commission of Pakistan to conduct elections, however, added that the armed forces can provide services for providing security.
“2018 is a year of changes. Political parties are [competing] against one another,” he added.
Major General Asif Ghafoor hailed the merger of the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, terming it a “great success”.
He said Pakistan wants respectable repatriation of Afghan refugees but added that there was no link of Fata-KP merger with the border fencing.
Manzoor Pashteen and PTM
On the controversy of rallies staged by Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM), Major General Ghafoor told the media that he himself met Manzoor Pashteen and Mohsin Dawar, who shared their concerns regarding the slain Naqeebullah Mehsud, missing persons and border check-post issues.
“The army assured them of resolving the issues and Mohsin Dawar sent a message of thanks as well,” he observed.
He remarked that despite assurances, a social media campaign started, and a topi (hat) made [outside] arrived in Pakistan.
The people who are not happy with the stability in Pakistan, if they join you and start praising you, then we have to see what is actually happening, the DG ISPR said.
He also shared that a PTM leader Ali Wazeer chanted anti-army slogans in Wana area.
What happened in Wana is that Ali Wazir chanted Anti-Army and Anti-Pakistan slogans, a Jirga was called by Aman committee and that went out of hands, as weapons came out, said the official and added that Army helicopters evacuated those who were injured.
He elaborated that when PTM wanted to hold a gathering in Lahore and news came out of the arrest of its leaders, Army Chief Gen Bajwa personally made a telephone call to an agency and told them not to do so.
Asad Durrani’s ‘The Spy Chronicles’
On the issue of the book penned by former ISI chief, Asad Durrani, the DG ISPR expressed that an inquiry had been launched against the military general, the outcome of which would be shared with the media as well.
“There is a difference between a layman and a former military general and sharing the experience of professional service is unfair,” added the spokesperson.
Contending that the said military officer took early retirement, Major Asif Ghafoor expressed that No Objection Certificate (NOC) was not obtained by him.
The military official stated that at least 100 fake social media accounts were created in Afghanistan aimed at promoting negative propaganda against Pakistan armed forces.
“Myriad allegations were hurled at us in the past few years and they were proved wrong. We [Pakistan armed forces] are fighting a war for Pakistan,” ISPR DG apprised media personnel.
The DG ISPR also showed a web of Twitter accounts that tweet Anti-State, Anti-Pakistan and Anti-Army material; interestingly anchor Matiullah Jan was also among the accounts.
“One by one the allegations against the Pak Army are being proved unfounded and baseless,” said the Pak Army official.
Dictation To Media
Major General Asif Ghafoor shared that instructions are never passed to media outlets for a favourable promotion.
“Pakistani media is playing a positive role and I keep myself in touch with media owners and anchors,” observed the official.