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February 25, 2021

Pakistan to continue to support Afghan peace process: DG ISPR

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February 25, 2021

RAWALPINDI: Director General (DG) of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar Wednesday said that Pakistan has done what it could do to influence the Taliban.

“Even Afghan leaders are admitting that Pakistan has done utmost for peace in Afghanistan,” he said while talking to foreign media at his office.

He said that it is for the citizens and the government of Afghanistan to determine the future of their country, how the dialogue process would further, and who they back to take it on. “We only aim for a long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

He emphasised that there should not be any void in Afghanistan. On a question on Nato forces’ likely drawdown and the return of the Taliban after it, he said: “Afghanistan now is not what it was in ’90s and the state infrastructure cannot be trounced easily, and Pakistan also has changed.

“It’s impossible for the Taliban to recapture Kabul and that Pakistan would support them. It isn’t going to happen.”

The DG ISPR maintained that the policy of the Pakistan government to extend a hand of peace to the neighbours was very clear. In this connection, he referred to recent statement of Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa in which he talked about extending a hand of peace; however, this does not mean that they are not aware of the danger on the eastern border.

“We have a vigilant eye on all Indian military's movements,” he said.

To a question he said the whereabouts of former TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan were not known, and they was making efforts for re-arrest of Taliban leader.

He said that the TTP leader's Twitter account, which was recently used to issue threats to Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, was found to be fake.

Talking about issue of missing persons, he said that the committee formed to investigate the matter has shown a good progress.

"Out of more than 6,000 cases received by the commission, 4,000 cases have been resolved, while the remaining cases will also be addressed soon," the DG ISPR said.

Answering a question about the murder of 11 Hazara miners in Mach, Balochistan, last month, Babar Iftikhar said that some important arrests have been made in connection with the tragic incident.

“We have made arrests and these arrests are very important," he said.

The DG ISPR went on to say that the recent attack on the car of an NGO in North Waziristan which led to the death of four female social workers was retaliation of Pakistan Army's operation in the area. He said that at present, there are no organised terrorist groups in Waziristan, adding that some "small groups from the region are resorting to terrorist activities there.

"These petty extremists will be eliminated from Waziristan soon," the DG ISPR said.

Babar Iftikhar said that terrorists in Pakistan operate with the assistance of groups in Afghanistan, and said that India was involved in supplying arms, money and new technology to the terrorists to create unrest in Pakistan and disturb regional stability.

“It goes without saying that the Afghan intelligence is well aware of such developments," he said.