Asim Bajwa says consultations being done on national security issues; Pakistan’s efforts to combat terrorism unmatchable; world abandoned Pakistan without listening to its viewpoint; military has no preferences and is targeting terrorists from all groups
BERLIN: Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa has said democracy is strong in Pakistan and the army is fully supporting and assisting democracy in the country.
In an interview with Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, Asim Bajwa said the army discusses national security matters with the political leadership.
The DG ISPR said Pakistan is facing threats from India, adding that the basis of the Pakistani defence system is Indian threats. He said the biggest reason for difficult ties with India is the Kashmir issue and making India a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) would be discriminatory.
He said the narrative that Pakistan has not done enough to fight terrorism was unfair as it did not recognise Pakistan’s contributions to the war against terror. He said no one can match the work of Pakistan against terrorism. He said the international community has not done enough for Pakistan and that the world had left Pakistan alone to fight the terrorists without listening to its point of view.
“I would say that the international community has not done enough for us,” he said.Asim Bajwa said during his interview that the Pakistan Army was conducting Operation Zarb-e-Azb without any discrimination. According to the DG ISPR, the Haqqani network was also being targeted in the operation.
“The military has no preferences. We are targeting terrorists from all groups. The military crackdown is worthy of all the efforts. We have eliminated the terrorists from the area and the people are very pleased with our efforts,” he said.
Bajwa also criticised the recent American drone strike which killed Afghan Taliban chief Mulla Akhtar Mansour. He said it was unfortunate since Pakistan was not informed about the strike despite being an ally of the US and Mulla Mansour was part of the Afghan reconciliation process.raised the matter at different levels.
Asim Bajwa also spoke about Pakistan’s ties with India and said that his country’s defence mechanism was India specific . This, he said, was due to the fact that India posed the biggest threat to Pakistan’s security.
Bajwa said developments were going on to engage India, however, the longstanding issue of Kashmir was the cause of tensions between both the nuclear armed nations of the Sub-Continent.
The DG ISPR said around 18,000 operations have been conducted on intelligence basis in which approximately 240 terrorists were killed while several facilitators were also arrested. He reiterated that Pakistan has done a lot to combat terrorism but criticism from the West that the Pakistan Army is not doing enough against militants is both regretful and unjustified.
Talking about Torkham border clash, Bajwa said that an exchange of firing was held at the border, however, negotiations are underway with the Afghan government to resolve the matter.
The military spokesman said 62 percent internally displaced persons (IDPs) who were affected from operation have returned to their homes. He said the process of return of all IDPs will be completed during the current year.
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