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Threat of war still lingering: DG ISPR


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Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday, 6th March said that the crisis between Pakistan and India may be simmering down but the threat of war remains active and Pakistan is vigilant.

In an interview to international network CNN, the Pakistan Armed Forces spokesperson said that Pakistan only responded to the Indian aggression, adding that it depends on its Eastern neighbor what steps it will take to reduce the tensions.

When asked if two countries were close to the war, DG ISPR said, “We were I would say close to war because when they [India] violated the airspace under took an aggression, we went for response.”

“Anybody who operates from Pakistan, we feel, that is not in the interest of Pakistan. Instead of blaming Pakistan, it is time that the world should assist and facilitate Pakistan in getting rid of such organizations,” he added.

When asked if handing the Indian pilot back helped ease the situation, DG ISPR said, “It is up to India whether they take that peace gesture and move forward towards de-escalation or continue the agenda that they have.”

“Along the Line of Control (LoC) we are eyeball to eyeball. There is presence of troops at the LoC for decades. But post the Indian aggression and our response the safeguards have been taken by both side,” said Ghafoor adding that troops had been increased “because it is natural as part of military planning. When the situation gets hot there are safeguards. Those safeguards are in place on both sides.” “We feel that now the ball is in the Indian court. Should they decide to escalate more, the situation will go bad,” remarked DG ISPR.

Answering to the question about Indian claims of inflicting 300 causalities to Jaesh-e-Muhammad members, Maj Gen Ghafoor said, “Not a single brick has been found there if there was an infrastructure and not a single dead body.” “Their [Indian] claims are false and I believe lately there is an announcement from their side also that they cannot claim any casualty,” added DG ISPR.

Read more: Did external pressure compel Pakistan to take action against banned outfits?

Referring to the Indian accusations that Pakistan-based terrorist organization claimed the Pulwama attack, DG ISPR said, “First of all, that claim has not been made from within Pakistan because Jaish-e-Muhammad does not exist in Pakistan it has been proscribed by United Nations and Pakistan also. Secondly, we are not doing anything under anybody’s pressure.”

“Anybody who operates from Pakistan, we feel, that is not in the interest of Pakistan. Instead of blaming Pakistan, it is time that the world should assist and facilitate Pakistan in getting rid of such organizations,” he added.

Talking about the possible reasons of Pulwama attack Maj Gen Ghafoor said, “The answer to this question [reasons of attacks like Pulwama] lies in United Nation’s Human Rights Commission report.” “If you suppress the local population to the extent that they are being killed, raped, being given pellet guns; So this is a natural reaction.”

“All the political parties agreed over National Action Plan (NAP). The actions have not been taken under any pressure as NAP is being implemented since 2014 when there was neither FATF nor Pulwama incident,” he notified.

“The world has to see what is forcing the Kashmiri youth to go towards violence. So instead of looking towards framed allegation for this incident, India also has to look inward as to why these incidents are happening. We have to move towards resolution of Kashmir because this issue Kashmir is a flashpoint for peace in the region,” remarked Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor.

After Indian jets infiltrated Pakistani airspace and dropped their payload on trees in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan shot two of its jets in a dogfight over the Line of Control (LoC) in retaliation. An Indian pilot, Wing Commander Abhinandan Vartham was captured by Pakistani forces who had crashed in Pakistan. He was subsequently released in three days as a gesture for initiation of peace after having demonstrated strike capability.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs had responded that India does not wish for further escalation after its defeat but did not abstain from firing at Pakistani posts and civilians along the LOC. On Tuesday, 5th February, an Indian submarine was apprehended by the Pakistan navy along the Arabian Sea Coast entering Pakistani waterfronts and let go with a warning. India has yet to make a formal peace offering.

Read more: No to extremism in Naya Pakistan: Government goes after banned outfits

Earlier, DG ISPR clarified that Pakistan armed forces are fully capable to respond to any sort of Indian aggression. Pakistan does not want to affect the peace of the region, he stressed.

“Tensions remain heightened between India and Pakistan from 26-28 February. India violated our airspace on February 26. The Indian pilot was captured and later released,” said DG ISPR. He told that Prime Minister Imran Khan offered probe into Pulwama attack but no contact could be made on a hotline between Pakistan and India.

“A dossier sent by Indian has been received and investigation is underway over it. It is being reviewed by the relevant ministry. Action will be taken if anyone found responsible,” DG ISPR declared.

Read more: NSC meeting concluded without any strong statements

“All the political parties agreed over National Action Plan (NAP). The actions have not been taken under any pressure as NAP is being implemented since 2014 when there was neither FATF nor Pulwama incident,” he notified. Decision to ban Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Falah-e-Insaniat was made in January, he said.

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