ISLAMABAD, Jan 02 : Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that keep in view the outcomes of the war and for restoration of peace in the region, India needs to change its attitude of aggression towards Pakistan.
In an interviews with a private TV channel here on Wednesday, Major-General Ghafoor said that Pakistan it its 70-year-old history with India has always talked about peace but the other side hasn’t considered the desire seriously.
He said that we always progressed with desire of peace but the Indian side showed aggression in response of our desire of peace. Our desire of peace shouldn’t be considered as weakness and we are ready to respond also if India resorts to war, he clarified.
While dismissing the Indian claims of ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistani territory, the DG ISPR said that even the Indian Prime Minister has admitted that their own public didn’t believe in these claims.
“The Indian government hasn’t given the proofs of surgical strikes to even its own people”, he said.
Talking about the successes of Pakistani security forces against the terrorism, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan has come a long way since the start of Operation Sherdil in 2008, adding that it was a difficult journey
He said that it had been two years since the Operation Radd-ul-Fasad was launched in the country and the operation was aimed at ensuring the rule of constitution and law in the country.
The DG ISPR said that in last two years of Radd-ul-Fasad, more than 75,000 secret operations were carried out throughout the country in which more than 35,000 illegal weapons were recovered.
Talking about the fallout of military operations that resulted in the displacement of thousands of people from erstwhile Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), he said that the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA not only bore the brunt of terrorism, but also gave up their properties to live in camps so that military operations could be carried out.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the grievances of Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) have to be resolved and they need to be provided with education and livelihood.
He said, “The war that we are fighting now is for the rehabilitation of the people affected by terrorism. If we want to consolidate the gains in war against terrorism, we will have to focus on education.”
About the demands of the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), the DG ISPR said that there was no objection on the fair demands of PTM.
“If Pakhtun people come out with their rightful demands from the PTM platform, we have no objection”, he said.
He said that no country more than Pakistan wished for peace in Afghanistan because a peaceful Afghanistan meant a peaceful Pakistan.
“Only a coalition government in Afghanistan can ensure peace”, he said, adding that development works in Afghanistan should remain in progress even after the United States exits the war-torn country.
He said that the border with Afghanistan was 2611 kilometres long and one of the objectives of the Operation Radd-ul-Fasad was to fence the border with Afghanistan.
Dismissing the impressions in some quarters that defence budget or government land was being used in Pakistan Army’s welfare projects, Major General Asif Ghafoor said that such claims were untrue and not a single penny from these sources were used in welfare projects run by Pakistan Army.
“A big chunk from the defence budget goes back to the government in form of taxes, even the welfare organizations of the Pakistan Army pay their taxes”, he said.
The DG ISPR said, “The Pakistan Army meets its necessities while remaining within the budget allocated to it and no allocation of the Shuhada Package is used for the armed forces but the families of the army’s martyrs.”
Recounting the performance of military courts since their latest inception in 2015, he said that so far, 717 cases were referred to the military courts, out of which 646 cases had been decided.
Major General Asif Ghafoor further said that 345 convicts have been awarded death sentences by the military courts while 296 have been handed various sentences.
“The extension granted to the military courts is ending soon; the government has to decide whether it wants to extend their tenure or not”, he added.
Rubbishing the allegations leveled against Army for meddling in the elections, the DG ISPR said that the elections were a national activity which always brought change, and the Pakistan Army had no interference in the election process.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said, “The Army has always supported Pakistan’s democratic governments; we wish to see political stability in the country because it results in the ultimate progress of the country.”