Pakistan to respond befittingly if war is imposed: DG ISPR

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RAWALPINDI, Oct 5 (APP): Director General
Inter-Services Public Relations (DGISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor
on Thursday said that Pakistan was a peace-loving country,
but if war was imposed on it then the country would
respond befittingly.
Addressing a news briefing here at Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR) premises, the DG ISPR said that Pakistan shared
around over 2000 km border with India in the east, but unfortunately
due to India’s hegemonic designs the border was unsafe.
Referring to escalating ceasefire and working boundary
violations by India, he said threats from India were perpetual.
During the current year, he said the Indian violations had been
the highest in number, when compared to the previous years.
He said that India was targeting civilian population. “India’s ceasefire accord violations along the Line
of Control (LoC) this year targeted a total of 222 civilians. Out
of these 42 lost their lives, while the rest suffered injuries.
But, he added, “India too has paid a price for these violations as a result of our response. We’ll we continue to do that if it does not stop
and acts with restraint.”
The casualties on the Indian side are to soldiers
and infrastructure, he said. “But war is not the solution hence to stop this we are talking to them at all levels.”
Major General Asif Ghafoor said that there were threats at
Pakistan’s borders adding that the important question was
“whether they (threats) are because of state or non-state actors”
and what the country’s response to those was.
“Geographically Pakistan is a very
important country. When multiple interests collude, it is
natural that conflicts arise.”
He said war had been continuing in Afghanistan for the past
four decades, but after 9/11 that war entered
Pakistan’s borders. “As a nation we’ve fought this war
with bravery. Today there is no organized base of any
terrorist organization in the country,” he said.
He said Afghan Army was working according to its capacity but
more than 50 per cent of Afghan territory was still out of their
control and stability in that country was still a challenge
for the authorities.
He said Pakistan had deployed around 100,000 troops at
its eastern border and around 200,000 at the western border.
“We cannot bring back our army to the cantonments from the
western borders because of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and
other such non-state actors,” he said.

Commenting on Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s
recent visit to Kabul, Director General ISPR said it was Army chief’s first visit to Afghanistan after assuming charge, adding it was an excellent initiative of the COAS.
He said the Army chief’s meetings with Afghan President and their
military leadership were held in a very good environment.
He said both Pakistan and Afghanistan rendered a lot of sacrifices
during the past 15 years, but there had been blame game and some discomfort, however, the Army chief’s visit had developed an atmosphere of positivity now.
“The army chief has even offered them (Afghanistan) to make fences on
their side of the border like Pakistan did,” he added.
He said around three million Afghans were still in Pakistan, adding
“When coordination will improve, trust will develop and things will get better.”
Maj General Asif Ghafoor said security measures along the borders
were not against people, state or the armed forces of Iran or Afghanistan but against non-state actors.
He said Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad was going on successfully in
different areas, while Operation Khyber-4 had been completed, however, it was in the final stages of ground cleansing.
He said law and order had improved a lot and Muharram processions and
gatherings ended peacefully despite threats in Quetta and Karachi.
“After several years, Muharram passed peacefully in the country,” he
said, adding two suicide bombers along with suicide jackets were arrested in Karachi and a car bomb was recovered from Quetta before the start of Muharram processions and gatherings.
He also mentioned Bohra community’s congregation in Karachi, saying that
around 21,000 foreigners, including 12,000 Indian citizens attended it.
Similarly, he said some other smaller events also took place and ended
peacefully.
He, in particular, mentioned the World XI cricket series in Lahore and a
cricket match in Miranshah, North Waziristan, involving top former and current national players.
“If foreign players are ready to play here on one phone call, it means
they know what’s the situation here now,” he said, adding an international hockey event would also taking place in Karachi.
To a question as why there had been no press release issued by the ISPR
following a special corps commanders conference at GHQ, he said “Silence is also an expression.”
To another question regarding Milli Muslim League he said every
Pakistani had the right to participate in the political process.
To a query about deployment of Rangers outside the accountability court
on Monday, he said the Rangers fell under the Ministry of Interior’s purview.
He said three wings of Rangers were requisitioned for the security in
the capital in 2014. “Once the requisition is made, coordination is carried out at the local level between the police, district administration and the Rangers. Sometime it happens that police ask Rangers for assistance and they take action.”
He said on the first day of hearing, there was some trouble as the
former prime minister had to go there, so on the second hearing there was some coordination.
Addressing another question, he said any type of instability, either
political or economic, could not be in the country’s interest.
Dispelling the impression of rift between the institutions, he said
Pakistan Army had a role to play according to the constitution. “Whatever orders we receive we are required to follow these according to the law and constitution. In JIT, we (the Army) obeyed whatever the Supreme Court had asked us to do,” he added.
He said foreign agencies were attempting to launch terror incident in
Pakistan, adding details in this regard had been shared with the foreign office.
He said Pakistan would have to take the war against terror to its
logical end.