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All sanctuaries of terrorist groups eliminated: DG ISPR

DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asif Ghafoor on Sunday said that Pakistan has successfully eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups from its soil.

By Web Desk
March 19, 2018


DUBAI: DG Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asif Ghafoor on Sunday said that Pakistan has successfully eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups from its soil.

The spokesperson of the army's media wing, in an interview with Gulf News, said; “Pakistan has paid a huge price for this, sacrificing over 75,000 lives and bearing a loss of more than $123 billion to the national exchequer,”

Major-General Asif Ghafoor said "There are no organised terrorists sanctuaries inside Pakistan anymore." He added that  operation Radd-ul-Fasaad has been launched to eliminate remaining disorganised residual presence of militants, as many as 200,000 soldiers had been posted along the border in Fata, adding that the recent military operations have visibly reduced the level of violence throughout the country.

Threats from India

To a question about the possibility of peace between India and Pakistan, DG ISPR said he believed that all issues between the two nuclear-armed countries need to be resolved to normalise the bilateral relationship.

When he was asked if the Pakistan Army is still "India focused", Ghafoor said that "threat from India is perpetual".

"India has been  busy in fomenting unrest through terrorism using Afghan soil," he told the publication, mentioning, Kulbhushan Jadhav, an Indian spy currently in Pakistan's custody, as an example. "So we are not having any let-up in safeguarding against Indian threat."

"While threat remains from India, both in conventional and sub-conventional domain, our biggest challenge is to maintain this stability with the threat still residing inside Afghanistan coupled with economic difficulties." DG ISPR said.

He added; "Pakistan has a strong and combat-hardened professional standing armed forces ready to thwart and defeat any threat. We are a responsible nuclear power with over 200 millions resilient Pakistanis," said the spokesperson.

With reference to the Kashmir dispute, he said that Pakistan's desire for peace should never be mistaken as its weakness. "For a normalised Indo-Pak relationship, all issues including the core issue of Kashmir between the two nuclear countries need to be resolved. India needs to behave like a responsible country, stop atrocities on both sides of the Line of Control and also discontinue interference inside Pakistan through state-sponsored terrorism."

Pak troops in S Arabia

Commenting on the contentious deployment of Pakistan military personnel to Saudi Arabia, the ISPR spokesperson said that the contingent was there based on the Pak-Saudi bilateral cooperation that both countries have enjoyed since 1982.

He told Gulf News that the Pakistani Army contingent is in no way part of the Islamic Force and neither is it deployed at the borders, adding that the military was in the Kingdom in a training and advisory capacity.

CPEC

On the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Ghafoor said enemies of peace and of Pakistan were trying to scuttle the multi-billion dollar project. However, Pakistan would go to any extent to foil their nefarious designs, he added.

The DG ISPR said that Pakistan Army has the responsibility for security of the project, which is engine of progress not only for Pakistan but for the region.

During an interview with the publication, DG Inter-Services Public Relations talked about Pakistan’s success in the war against terrorism, Pakistan-India relations and the possibility of peace between the two countries. He also discussed Pakistan’s relations with the UAE and the  China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which will link Pakistan’s Gwadar Port with China.