Sunday September 26, 2021

Pakistan should be seen as facilitator, not guarantor in Afghan peace process: DG ISPR

DG ISPR says Pakistan has ramped up Pak-Afghan border security because of situation in Afghanistan
Web Desk
July 10, 2021

Director General Inter Services Public Relations Major General Babar Iftikhar said on Saturday said that Pakistan should only be seen as a facilitator and not a guarantor in the Afghan peace process.

The DG ISPR, in a conversation with a private TV channel, spoke about Afghanistan and its future. 

Major General Iftikhar said that India's investment in Afghanistan "appears to be sinking".

“If India had invested in Afghanistan in good faith, then it would not have been disappointed today,” said the DG ISPR.

The head of the military’s media wing said that India's goal was to harm Pakistan by stepping into Afghanistan.

He added that New Delhi was trying to tell the world that Pakistan is the “cause of problems in Afghanistan”.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that there was no truth to the claims made by India, adding that "the world knows that Pakistan has tried its utmost to solve the Afghan problem in the best possible manner”.

'Early withdrawal of US troops’

The DG PISPR, who spoke at length about Afghanistan and Pakistan’s response to the situation there, also spoke of the role played by the US.

“The only expectation from the United States was that there would be a responsible withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said the DG ISPR. He explained that by a responsible withdrawal he meant a proper transfer of authority and lamented that the withdrawal by the US forces “was done a little early”.

The DG ISPR also responded to the rumours circulating in the media on American bases in Pakistan. The DG ISPR said that the Pakistani government had made it clear that there was no question of giving bases to the US as there is no need for it.

'Border management should have also been done on the Afghan side'

The head of the military’s media wing regretted the lack of work done by the Afghan government on border management with Pakistan.

“Border management should have been done on the other side as well, but unfortunately that has not been done,” said the DG ISPR. However, he assured the nation that Pakistan is determined to not allow anyone to use its soil against another country.

"We will not allow any unwanted people to enter the country," he said.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that border management was needed as everyone knows that Daesh and the TTP are in Afghanistan and have occasionally tried to harm interests.

He assured everyone that security at the country’s border with Afghanistan was much better today. He added that additional Frontier Corps wings have been formed to further enhance the security at the border.

The DG ISPR said that 90% of the fencing on the Pak-Afghan border was complete.

He also said that the interior ministry has made plans to deal with the influx of refugees in case violence escalates in Afghanistan.

‘Pakistan sincerely spoke about advancing Afghan peace process’

Maj Gen Iftikhar stated that Pakistan sincerely spoke about advancing the Afghan peace process as troop withdrawal was announced by the then US president Donald Trump.

"Pakistan has no favourites in Afghanistan.

“What kind of government they seek and how they want to take Afghanistan forward is up to the Afghans,” said the DG ISPR.

He also assured everyone that Pakistan will try to resolve the deadlock if the Afghans have reached that position.

“If Afghans are at a deadlock then we too are working to resolve it. But even we have our limitations and we can only advance things to an extent,” said the DG IPSR.

He added that international stakeholders know that Pakistan has made sincere attempts to resolve the Afghan conflict.

The major general said that Afghans have the ability to sit down and decide on the future they want for their country.

“The direction of things to happen will be determined by the internal situation in Afghanistan.

“Decisions such as these cannot be forced with the use of guns. If that was the case, then it would have happened in these 20 years that have passed,” said Maj Gen Iftikhar.

The DG ISPR warned that decisions will have to be made through talks or the situation may go towards a civil war. He added that no one would benefit from civil war and it would only harm the whole region.

“All factions in Afghanistan are tired of the 40-year violence,” he said.