DG ISPR rules out political favouritism, says army focuses on eliminating terrorism

RAWALPINDI(a1tv news)Pakistani military’s spokesman Major General Ahmed Sharif addressed a press conference focussing on anti-terror operations conducted by the army.

This was his first press briefing since being appointed as head of the military’s media affairs wing.

Security: successes and challenge

Maj Gen Sharif began the presser stating that it would focus on professional activities of the armed forces and ongoing anti-terrorism operation as the country reels through the surging militant activities since the TTP withdrew from the ceasefire pact.

He said the nexus between the banned outfit TTP, Baloch militants and foreign agencies has proved, adding that significant steps were taken to tackle the terrorism.

As he shared statistics to elaborate the security situation, the DG ISPR said Pakistan witnessed 436 terror attacks that claimed 293 lives and injured over 500 people during the current year.

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said, 192 people were martyred and 330 injured while 80 lost their lives and 170 sustained injuries in Balochistan. Meanwhile, 14 embraced martyrdom in Punjab and seven in Sindh, he said.

He said security forces, during this period, carried out 8,279 intelligence-based operations (IBOs), in which 1,535 terrorists were killed. Around 70 IBOs were being conducted daily, he said, adding that all no-go areas had been eliminated.  

The military spokesperson said that illegal weapons and ammunition were also recovered from terrorists.

Maj-Gen Sharif said the terrorist attacks on Peshawar Police Lines and Karachi Police Office have exposed the militants’ nefarious designs as they had nothing to do with Islam and state.

He said the Peshawar attack was carried out by the banned outfit Jamaatul Ahrar on the orders of TTP and the suicide bomber who carried out the attack was identified as an Afghan citizen.

The DG ISPR further said that 137 security officials had been martyred during this year while 117 had been wounded. He affirmed that the war against terrorism will continue till the elimination of the last terrorist.

Maj Gen Sharif said 98% of the work on the fence between Pakistan and Afghanistan had been completed, the work on the fence with Iran border had been completed by 85%. He said that security forces had thwarted several attempts to sabotage the multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

He said that armed forces have decided to slash their budget in view of the ongoing economic situation in the country, adding that the journey towards lasting peace has been initiated.

Army’s view of relations with India

He said the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) had remained relatively peaceful since the 2003 ceasefire agreement. However, he slammed India for running fake propaganda against Pakistan for its political gains.

He said Pakistan had provided access to the UN observers to the LoC on multiple occasion but India had been running away from it. He said representatives of the OIC and other delegations were also taken to the LoC for visit, adding that Indian had not arranged any such trip in order hide the situation in occupied Kashmir.  

Maj-Gen Sharif said India had committed over 50 violations at the LoC, adding that the Pakistan Army had shot down six quadcopters. He said the armed forces were ready to deal with any such attempt by India.

Army not tilted towards any political party, ideology

The DG ISPR said all political parties and political persons were equally respectful for the armed forces. He said army chief had clarified that people of Pakistan are real power, adding that the forces represented all religions, sects and regions.

He categorically ruled that army was tilted toward any political party or a specific ideology.

He said there was a constitutional relation between the government and armed forces, adding that it was wrong to misrepresent this relation.

He said, “We welcome constructive criticism but action should be taken against those involved in anti-army campaign on social media”. He lamented that some political persons were also part of such campaigns.

In-chamber meeting with CJP

Talking about security for elections, he said the army had submitted its response to the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Election Commission of Pakistan keeping in view the ground realities. He said that army will continue to discharge its duties by remaining in the constitutional limits.

He said the federal government called in army for elections duty, security and tackle emergency situation under Section 245 of the Constitution. While talking about security officials meeting with Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial, he said it was communication between the CJP and the institution.  It had been opened if it meant to, he said. 

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