National Security Committee clarified no evidence of conspiracy found: DG ISPR

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RAWALPINDI, Jun 14 (APP): Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Tuesday said the National Security Committee in its meetings categorically said no evidence of conspiracy was found about the alleged regime change in the country.

Major General Babar Iftikhar said all three service chiefs were present at the meeting. The participants in the meeting were informed by the agencies that there was no evidence of any conspiracy. “Nothing like that,” he said in an interview with a private news channel while responding to a question on Sheikh Rashid’s statement.

He informed that there was no increase in the defence budget since 2020, he said and pointed out that in fact, it had dropped below the inflation rate. He said the defence budget was below the GDP ratio this year.

“Everyone has the right to have their discourses but a distortion of the facts and lie was punishable. General (R) Pervez Musharraf is ill, the military leadership is of the view that he should return.

He is the first Army Chief to meet President Xi Jinping. Importantly, China has always stood by us. The purpose of this visit was to strengthen ties. Relations with China are very important for peace in the region, security forces of the Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) have been deployed, and new wings have been formed for CPEC security. He said that China has strengthened Pakistan’s defence force. The Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) has not diminished in any way in terms of security, and work was being done on CPEC at the governmental level, progress was being made in government-to-government contacts.

The Memorandum was signed, and he said the budget always discussed the defence budget. And the challenges are taken into account. Pakistan’s armed forces have fulfilled all their responsibilities and will continue to do so. He said that India has always increased its defence budget, compared to India’s 1.3 million troops, the Pakistan Army army is 5.5 lac, of which 50 percent were deployed at the Eastern border. And some, 40 percent were deployed on the western border.

He said that Pakistan Army has not increased its budget since 2020, the budget has been reduced due to inflation, defence budget is going below the ratio of GDP, and now it has come down to 2%, due to inflation and other challenges. Despite this, the Pakistan Armed Forces did not allow its military capabilities to decline. He said that this year the defence budget has been reduced by Rs 100 billion.

On the instructions of Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the Pakistan Armed Forces reduced its utility bills by saving on diesel and petrol, Pakistan Army vehicles would not run public vehicles extraordinarily everything Friday in a week. Training exercises are also being restricted to cantonments so that travel expenses were kept to a minimum, he added.

DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar said that the Pakistan Army has returned Rs 6 billion after savings during the COVID-19 period and Rs 3.5 billion in terms of savings in military equipment to the government of Pakistan. The Fauji Foundation was benefitting 2 million people from the health care of the Foundation, while 70,000 boys and girls were getting an education in the education system.

In response to a question, he said that fabricated rumours were spread against the leadership of the Pakistan Army and false propaganda was spread which should be avoided.

In response to a query, he said, “General (R) Pervez Musharraf’s health was bad, may Allah grant him health.”.

In such a situation, Pervez Musharraf’s family has been contacted, only after the decision of doctors and family travel would be managed.

“The decision to return will be taken but the position of the Army leadership is that the former Army Chief should return.”

He said that he would not comment on the recent session of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) where India did lobbying to blacklist Pakistan.

As per the directions of the then Army Chief, a set-up was established between more than 30 agencies, ministries and divisions to prevent money laundering and terrorism.

“That’s why remittances have increased as we fulfilled all the parameters of FATF and received $28 billion remittances to Pakistan due to effective laws,” he said.