DG ISPR Maj. Gen Babar Iftikhar says fencing on the Western border to continue; rules out presence of ISIS in Pakistan; dispels impression of any political deals

Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

RAWALPINDI: Director General ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar has said the work under the western border management regime will be completed in the stipulated period. He further said no talks were underway with the Tehereek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) adding that the operation against TTP shall continue till the outfit is fully eliminated.

Briefing the media persons in Rawalpindi he said 94 percent fencing work along Pak-Afghan border has been completed whilst on Pak-Iran border, 71 percent work has been achieved. The DG ISPR emphasized the importance of fencing on Pak-Afghan border saying it is important for the security of people on both sides of the border as well as to regulate trade activities. It is not aimed at dividing the people but securing them.

Major General Babar Iftikhar said the border management system with Afghanistan will be made more effective with the passage of time. He said the blood of our martyrs is included in the erection of this fence.  He said this is a fence of peace and it will be completed and stay intact.

The DG ISPR said sixty seven new wings of FC Balochistan and FC Khyberpakhunkhwa were established in the year 2021 to further strengthen the border security. He said the process has also been started to establish six more wings.

As regards the achievements made under Radd-ul-Fasaad Operation in the year 2021, the DG ISPR said that sixty thousand intelligence based operations were carried out which helped dismantle terrorist networks. He said on the basis of 890 threat alerts issued by the intelligence agencies during this period, about seventy percent possible terror threats were averted.

The DG ISPR said Pakistan Army is providing security to CPEC and other development projects. Expressing satisfaction over the progress on the CPEC project, he said those trying to sabotage it will fail in their nefarious designs.

The DG ISPR said that no armed person or group can be allowed to take law into their own hands. Major General Babar Iftikhar regretted that an organized campaign had been started against different institutions of the country over a period of time. He said the aim of this campaign is to create a gulf between the government, the masses, the institutions and the armed forces.  He said the armed forces draw strength from the people and all efforts to create wedge in this relationship will meet failure.

Answering a question, Major General Babar Iftikhar said there is no problem in the civil-military relations. He said armed forces are a subservient institution of the Government of Pakistan and it takes orders from the government.  As regards the eastern border, the DG ISPR rejected the baseless Indian propaganda of infiltration against Pakistan saying it is aimed at diverting attention from blatant human rights violations in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He said India has always tried to externalize the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris but now voices are rising across the world that India is targeting innocent civilians in the occupied valley.

The DG ISPR expressed concern over the defense procurements by India saying this will only trigger an arms race in the region and will have a negative impact on regional peace.  Replying to a question, he said that armed forces have the capacity to deal with all external and internal threats, despite economic constraints. He said we are ready to render any kind of sacrifices to eliminate the menace of terrorism from Pakistan.

Regarding a question about Pakistan Day parade on 23rd March this year amid growing cases of Omicron, the DG ISPR said the parade will be held as per schedule but guidelines of National Command and Operation Center will be followed to avert any spread of the virus.