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July 17, 2017

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DG ISPR rejects conspiracy allegation

DG ISPR rejects conspiracy allegation

ISLAMABAD: Major General Asif Ghafoor, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on Sunday said the Pakistan Army had no direct role in the Joint Investigation Team (JIT), saying the representatives of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Military Intelligence (MI) had honestly worked with the JIT under the Supreme Court (SC) order.

When the ISPR top official was asked to comment on the allegations on social media that the army was behind conspiracies against the government, he said, “This question does not merit an answer.”

Responding to a question during a press briefing about the start of Khyber Phase-4 Operation in Rajgaal and Shawwal areas of Khyber Agency against miscreants, he said, “The Khyber Phase-4 operation which is part of Operation Raddul Fasaad has been started this morning from the Rajgaal area which is located in the most difficult terrain in Khyber Agency.” He said the Pakistan Army had also reviewed the ongoing operation in Karachi.

He said the Pakistan Army was active for peace and security of Pakistan and everybody wanted to uphold the Constitution in the country and the Pakistan Army would hold the interest of the country supreme. “The political issues are discussed within the political domain,” he said.To a question about the propaganda against the Pakistan Army on social media, he said that the elements indulging in this propaganda were not Pakistanis.

He said Daesh had increased its influence on the Afghan side and the objective behind the operation was to check their cross-border intrusion to carry out terrorist activities on the Pakistan side of the border.

The DG ISPR said that one division troops with the support of PAF were taking part in the operation. He said the Rajgaal Valley is the toughest terrain in the Fata. He said the international border with Afghanistan would be fully secured to check the infiltration of terrorists and to destroy their hideouts on this side of the border.

Asif Ghafoor said that about 500 families had been living in this area. However, they were currently staying at safer places as Temporarily Displaced Persons. He said due to effective security operations in the tribal belt, incidents of terrorism had reasonably declined in the country.

Turning to the Operation Raddul Fasaad, the ISPR chief said that 46 major operations and over 9,000 intelligence-based operations (IBOs) were launched, while 10,707 joint check posts were establishedacross Pakistan. Thirteen major operations and over 800 IBOs were conducted in Balochistan. In Sindh, 522 terrorists voluntarily surrendered while fifteen were killed. In Punjab, six major operations and over 7,000 IBOs were carried out. Twenty two terrorists were also killed. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, twenty seven major operations were launched, while 817 IBOs were also conducted. Commenting on the security situation in Karachi, he said incidents of terrorism had declined by 98 percent.

Elaborating the situation on the Line of Control (LoC), Asif Ghafoor said, “India is committing massive ceasefire violations on the LoC to divert the world attention from the grave human rights violations and indigenous struggle of Kashmiris in the Indian Held-Kashmir (IHC). The ceasefire violations committed during the year 2017 are 580 which are the highest and loss of civilians’ lives is also the highest,” he said.

On the other hand, he said the Pakistan Army in response could not target civilian populations rather it had to hit bunkers of the other side from where the shelling came.To a question, he said the army chief would take a final decision on the appeal of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the earliest. He assured that the decision of the army chief would be based on justice. “The army chief is examining evidence in this case and decision will be based on merit,” he said.

Making a statement on the situation in Afghanistan, Asif Ghafoor said the Afghan forces were losing their hold over the areas under their control. He said the Afghan forces would have to strengthen their footprints on their soil to check the influence of terrorist outfits like Daesh.

He said Pakistan had also decided to fence its entire border with Afghanistan and the first phase of fencing was underway. He said, “We will also ensure physical and technical surveillance of the fence.” He said Pakistan believed in an open door policy with Afghanistan. He clarified that Pakistan did not approve boots on ground of any country on its soil. Any coordinated operations with Afghanistan would be meant for actions by both the countries on their respective territories.

To a question, the DG said Raymond Davis had written his book as a contractor and such books had their own agendas, which could be exposed later on. He said that Raymond Davis enjoyed himself diplomatic immunity and there were other institutions also involved in the issue.

Answering a question, he said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was very critical for the development of the country. He said the security forces of Pakistan were very vigilant to foil enemies’ designs against CPEC.

Asked as to what Pakistan Army would do if summoned by the Supreme Court, the DG ISPR said they believed in working with all the institutions. “Everybody wants to work within the ambit of the Constitution,” he said.

Asked as to what the Pakistan Army would do if summoned by the Supreme Court of Pakistan, he said everybody has different projection of events. He said everybody should work within the Constitution and the Pakistan Army wanted supremacy of Constitution in the country.

He said that the JIT was constituted on the orders of the Supreme Court and matter was sub judice with the Supreme Court.Giving details about the performance of the Military Courts, he said that a total 274 terrorists were tried and of them 161 were awarded death penalty. Out of the total, 53 executions had been carried out while 40 of them were undertaken during the ongoing Operation Raddul Fasaad.

He said the cases of those 17 terrorists rounded up from Parachinar would be tried in the Military Courts on priority basis.About the National Census, the DG ISPR said that all the data compiled during the demographic process had been given to the Pakistan Bureau of Statics (PBS).

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