RAWALPINDI: Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar Friday said the destructive nexus between India and the Afghan authorities had ended now with the Taliban taking over Kabul, and the situation along the Pak-Afghan border was “normal” and “under control”.
Addressing a press conference, he said India’s intelligence agency, Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), together with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS), extended help to terrorist organisations like Daesh and TTP, among others, to conspire against Pakistan.
The DG ISPR said India’s role in Afghanistan had been "extremely negative", and the international community needs to understand it. "India poisoned the minds of the Afghan leadership, its intelligence agencies, as well as the army, thus giving rise to negative statements against Pakistan," he added.
The military spokesman said: “Whatever investment India had done in Afghanistan and the clout it made there was with only one intention: to harm Pakistan. They have no love lost for each other," he added.
The DG ISPR said the situation along the Pak-Afghan border was normal and under control, but if some untoward incident occurred, Pakistan was ready to ward it off. He said that apprehensions were always there, but despite all that, the situation along the border was under control, as no untoward incident took place at the border or inside the country.
He said everyone would have to wait for the formation of a new government in Afghanistan. However, he added, Pakistan expected good relations with Kabul and hoped that Taliban would keep their promises.
"We have taken every possible step to maintain security at the border and every movement is under control there. But this does not mean that nothing can happen, something can happen, but we are prepared; it is not that we will be unaware of that," the military’s spokesperson said.
He said that other than Afghans, Pakistanis had been the biggest target of violence because of the volatile situation in Afghanistan for the last several decades. "Pakistan had to bear an expense of $152 billion to fight against terrorism," he said adding that the country sacrificed more than 86,000 lives in the process.
Regarding future, he said that Pakistan "trusts that the Taliban will keep their promises and take effective measures to ensure TTP does not operate against any country from Afghan soil." He said as per vision of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed, Pakistan had so far fenced 90 per cent Pak-Afghan border and raised over 60 wings of FC for better western border management.
He said when Pakistan was busy in war against terrorists, the Pakistan Army chief visited Afghanistan four times. Pakistan also offered intelligence sharing to Afghanistan and training of military officers and cadets, but they sent only six cadets to Pakistan. On the other hand, Major General Babar Iftikhar said, hundreds and thousands of Afghan military officials visited India for training and many Indian Army personnel came to Afghanistan for training of Afghan military. But where had disappeared that Afghan Army now, he wondered.
He said Pakistan never doubted that peace in Pakistan was linked with peace in Afghanistan, and that was why Pakistan made sincere efforts for peace in the neighbouring country. At the same time, he said, Pakistan had always been apprising the international community of role of spoilers of peace in Afghanistan.
Since withdrawal of Nato and US forces had already been decided, Pakistan had started taking measures to ensure stability on this side of the border. "We have no doubt that Pakistan border on this side is safe and secure," he said adding that Pakistan was anticipating instability along the international border. That was why, it moved regular troops in the region, to the notified border crossings to ensure that border control was well managed. There are 78 modified crossings, which include 17 notified crossings. He said immediately after Aug 15, as the things unfolded, all the terminals at notified crossings were kept open while trade convoys on both sides kept moving. He said that 5,500 foreigners had been evacuated through 113 military and commercial flights, landing in Islamabad.
Regarding a "possible refugee crisis", the DG ISPR said that at the moment, there are no refugees at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. He spoke about the recent attacks on Chinese nationals in Pakistan and said that "comprehensive security measures" are in place.
"The ministry of interior is looking after the matter, and if there is a requirement, the security will be beefed up further." Shedding light on possible terrorist attacks orchestrated by RAW and other elements along Pakistan's eastern border, the DG ISPR said there is "nothing to worry about as the army has taken all measures" to keep the land safe. He said that Pakistan is "hoping for the best" in terms of normalisation of the situation in Afghanistan but would not like to "speculate anything".
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