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Pakistan Has Eliminated Sanctuaries Of All Terrorist Groups: DG ISPR

Pakistan Has Eliminated Sanctuaries Of All Terrorist Groups: DG ISPR

Pakistan Has Eliminated Sanctuaries Of All Terrorist Groups: DG ISPR pakistan has eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups: dg ispr Pakistan Has Eliminated Sanctuaries Of All Terrorist Groups: DG ISPR zzz

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor has said that Pakistan has eliminated sanctuaries of all terrorist groups including the Haqqani Network from its soil through a well-thought-out military campaign. “But all this has come with a huge price.

Besides cost in blood of over 75,000 Pakistanis, there has been a loss of more than $123 billion to the national exchequer.

On the possibility of peace between India and Pakistan, he said he believed that all issues between the two nuclear-armed countries, including the core issue of Kashmir, need to be resolved to normalize the bilateral relationship.

The DG ISPR talked about Pakistan’s success in the war against terrorism, Pakistan-India relations and the possibility of peace between the two countries. He also discussed Pakistan’s relations with the UAE and the $54-billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, which will link Pakistan’s Gwadar Port with China.

To a question as what measures have been taken to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan, he said the country has fought a successful war against terrorism — a war which entered Pakistan through the 2,611-km scantily manned Pak-Afghan border when US-led coalition forces started military operations in Afghanistan against AQ [Al Qaida]. Whereas there are no more organised sanctuaries, for the elimination of remaining disorganised scanty residual presence of militants, Operation Raddul Fasaad, a largely intelligence-based operation is in progress, he said.

Effects of operation have visibly reduced the level of violence throughout Pakistan. This residual presence also takes advantage of 2.7 million Afghan refugees inside Pakistan by morphing into peaceful refugees. There is a need to undertake their respectable repatriation to their country, he added.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said presently there are over 200,000 Pakistani troops deployed in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along Pak-Afghan border. “This deployment is to continue
despite successes inside Pakistan as the threat continues to reside inside

To a question as what measures have been taken to eliminate terrorism from Pakistan, he said the country has fought a successful war against terrorism — a war which entered Pakistan through the 2,611-km scantily manned Pak-Afghan border when US-led coalition forces started military operations in Afghanistan against AQ [Al Qaida]. Whereas there are no more organised sanctuaries, for the elimination of remaining disorganised scanty residual presence of militants, Operation Raddul Fasaad, a largely intelligence-based operation is in progress, he said.

Effects of operation have visibly reduced the level of violence throughout Pakistan. This residual presence also takes advantage of 2.7 million Afghan refugees inside Pakistan by morphing into peaceful refugees. There is a need to undertake their respectable repatriation to their country, he added.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said presently there are over 200,000 Pakistani troops deployed in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along Pak-Afghan border. “This deployment is to continue
despite successes inside Pakistan as the threat continues to reside inside

Afghanistan not due to lack of will but lack of capacity of the Afghan forces.”

To safeguard own success, he said Pakistan has started to fence the entire 2,611-km length of Pak-Afghan border and construction of new forts and posts along the border to deny free cross-border movement of terrorists.

Besides kinetic operations, Pakistan has undertaken major socio-economic development projects in cleared areas. This is aimed at carrying forward relative stability to enduring peace, he added.

To another question, he said Pakistan contingent to Saudi Arabia is part of the ongoing Pak-Saudi bilateral security cooperation since 1982. “It is neither part of Islamic Force nor it shall be deployed outside KSA borders. The role of Pakistani troops is training and advice. Pakistan has similar bilateral security arrangements with other GCC and regional countries,” he said.

Replying to a question as what measures are being taken after the US suspended aid to Pakistan, he said the main US concern is alleged inaction against Haqqani Network. Pakistan has operated against terrorists of all hue and colour including the Haqqani Network.

Earlier, till 2014, Pakistan focused on operations against Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and targeted Haqqani Network during Operation Zarb-e-Azb, (from]) 2014 onwards. This was due to lack of capacity and not lack of will.

There are no organized terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan anymore, he added.

He said Pakistan has repeatedly conveyed the above stance to US authorities. “Present violence inside Afghanistan should not be linked to Pakistan. Pakistan shall do anything to support achievement of peace in Afghanistan but can neither fight inside Afghanistan nor will do it again inside Pakistan,” he added.
To ensure achieving peace in Afghanistan, he said ungoverned spaces inside Afghanistan would have to be cleared by Afghan and RSM (Resolute Support Mission) Forces. A better Pak-Afghan border security arrangement is quintessential towards this end. Pakistan has long been pursuing this with Afghanistan, he said.

Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan maintains an excellent brotherly relationship with the UAE. “(The) UAE has assisted Pakistan phenomenally for socio-economic development projects during our counter-terrorism effort in FATA.

“We don’t foresee any deterioration in our relationship and look forward to the continued strong relationship. The UAE Army contingent is participating in a Pakistan National Day Parade this month,” he said.

He said various independent international surveys report that more than 50 percent of Afghan areas are not under effective control of Afghan forces. “There is the scanty presence of Afghan forces along Pak-Afghan border. Lack of effectiveness inside Afghanistan cannot be done away with by throwing blame on Pakistan. If Afghanistan still believes that there is a support to TTA from Pakistani soil, they must come up with actionable intelligence.

“No country other than a Pakistan is more keen to see a peaceful Afghanistan as we are the immediate neighbours. Peace in Afghanistan is important for peace in Pakistan,” he added.

To a query, he said the threat from India is perpetual as it is not only challenging Pakistan conventionally along its (Pakistan’s) eastern borders but is busy in fomenting unrest through terrorism using Afghan soil. And this is not mere rhetoric. Pakistan has arrested a serving Indian naval officer, Kulbhushan Jadhav working as RAW, (Research and Analysis Wing, India’s primary foreign intelligence agency) agent in Pakistan.
So we are not having any let-up in safeguarding against Indian threat, he remarked.

He said Pakistan has successfully fought against the threat of terrorism and now consolidating it for enduring peace and stability. “While threat remains from India, both in the conventional and sub-conventional domain, our biggest challenge is to maintain this stability with threat still residing inside Afghanistan coupled with economic difficulties,” he maintained.

He said Pakistan has a strong and combat-hardened professional standing armed forces ready to thwart and defeat any threat. “We are a responsible nuclear power with over 200 millions resilient Pakistanis. No threat can deter our national resolve.”

To another question, he said Pakistan is a peaceful country and does not want conflict with anyone. “However, our desire for peace should never be mistaken as our weakness. For normalised Indo-Pak relationship, all issues including the core issue of Kashmir between the two nuclear countries need to be resolved. India needs to behave like a responsible country, stop atrocities on both sides of the LOC (Line of Control) and also discontinue interference inside Pakistan through state-sponsored terrorism.”

He said continuity of CPEC is not linked to elections or any other event. China is our time-tested friend and CPEC is a nation-to-nation project. “We know enemies of peace and of Pakistan are trying to scuttle CPEC, but Pakistan shall never let them succeed. Pakistan Army has the responsibility for the security of the project, which is the engine of progress not only for Pakistan but for the region. For this special security, a division has been raised,” he said.

The DG ISPR said that Pakistan has been successful in the war against terrorism adding that peace has gradually returned to the country. “We are moving towards enduring stability. CPEC is progressing
well. All this is affording economic investment opportunities in Pakistan. There are no threats anymore and the environment is conducive for investment. “Peace and prosperity is our destination and we expect the world to contribute to promoting peace and economy not only in Pakistan but in the region as well,” he added.

 

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