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We cannot do more on dictation from any country: ISPR

29 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Army on Thursday unequivocally said that it had already done enough for everyone over the past decades and ‘cannot do more on dictation from any country’.

“We cannot do more on dictation from any country. Pakistan will continue to fight terrorism, but not for money. We don’t want conflict with friends but no compromise on our self-respect and honour as well. Country’s interests are always supreme for us,” Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor told a crowded press briefing.

“What kind of friends are we that we are being given notices [by the US]? It is time for Afghanistan and the US instead to do more for Pakistan,” he maintained.

Rejecting ‘unfounded’ accusations by US and Afghanistan about presence of terrorist bases inside Pakistan, the army spokesman reiterated that no organised infrastructure of any terrorist organisation existed in Pakistan. “We have gone a long way towards supporting peace in region and at present there are no facilitators of terrorist groups present in Pakistan. We have sacrificed a lot and have paid a huge price both in blood and money by fighting twice an imposed and imported war against terrorism,” Maj Gen Ghafoor said.

The ISPR chief said had Pakistan not supported US and Afghanistan in fight against al-Qaeda, they would have never succeeded in defeating them, clarifying that the money Pakistan received from the US was only reimbursement for the support extended by it in fight against al-Qaeda.

On alleged inaction by Pakistan against the Haqqani network, the ISPR DG said army went into North Waziristan indiscriminately and took action against the Haqqani network as well. “The effect of an operation does not fully appear immediately. What we do today, its impact will be felt tomorrow,” he said.

Regarding measures to control cross-border movement of terrorists, the ISPR chief said, “We have already started fencing of 2,611 kilometres of Pak-Afghan border. Additional posts and forts are being built and on every 1.5-2 kilometres, we will have a physical presence.” He said no country was more interested in peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan, as “we know that peace there [Afghanistan] means peace here [in Pakistan].”

The army spokesman said military relations with Afghanistan were not ideal at present but there had been some improvement following army chief’s visit to Kabul. “Pak-Afghan military-to-military engagement is very important. At present, we cannot call it ideal … but situation has improved after army chief’s visit to Kabul,” he said.

The DG ISPR said the US needs to check India’s anti-Pakistan role not only from inside Afghanistan but also through increased ceasefire violations along LoC and the Working Boundary.

On Indian army’s claims that it infiltrated Pakistan’s borders, Maj Gen Ghafoor said, “It is all false propaganda for their domestic audience … and aims at taking the focus off a robust political struggle for freedom they are facing in Held Kashmir.”

To India’s propaganda over Jadhav’s meeting with his mother and wife, the ISPR chief said, “We allowed Jadhav to meet his family as a responsible state … had we been irresponsible, we would have given in to Indian pressure and allowed consular access to him.” “This will not impact the case at all,” he said, adding that India always looks to reduce relevance of any goodwill gestures made by Pakistan.

To a question about former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s repeated outburst against armed forces, the ISPR chief said army has no response to events in the political domain. “If there is any conspiracy [about army’s involvement in politics], they should come up with evidence,” he said.

Rejecting Railway Minister Saad Rafique’s remarks about junior officers’ apparent lack of commitment to army chief’s orders, the DG ISPR said, “This statement is extremely irresponsible and unwarranted … it targets the very chain of command of Pakistan Army which is a disciplined institution and follows army chief’s orders without question.”

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