‘Armed Forces ready to respond to any Indian misadventure’

F.P. Report

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan is fully alive to internal and external threats and will render every sacrifice to protect its security and territorial integrity with full capacity and resolve, said Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen. Babar Iftikhar on Thursday.

Addressing a news conference, he reiterated the firm resolve of Pakistan government, Armed Forces and the nation to stand united for the country’s defence and warned the adversaries not to test Pakistan’s capability and resolve.

“There is no room for war between two nuclear powers. We are aware of India’s capability and are ever ready to defend our motherland. If war starts, it will have unintended and uncontrollable consequences,” he said while answering a question about Indian military buildup.

“We are taking their statements and designs seriously and will defend our motherland at any cost. We always prefer to ensure peace in the region but our core capability is very much in place,” he added.  

He said Pakistan was also having an eye on India’s military spending that was Pakistan centric and India was among top three countries in the world, in terms of military spending.

In this context, he specifically mentioned to February 27, 2019 operation ‘Swift Retort’ and said despite India’s massive spending on defence, Pakistan showed it capacity and capability by shooting down two Indian planes and arresting its Squardon Leader Abhinandan.

“After the Pulwama incident, Indian jets intruded into Pakistan’s territory in the dark of night but our quick response made them run while dropping their payload in forest area,” he said. “But, we responded in broad day-light, targeting six military installations, hitting down their two fighter jets while Indian military hit down its own helicopter in desperation.”

Briefing the media on national security, Line of Control and Kashmir situation and Operation Radd-ul-Fasad in connection with February 27, 2019 operation ‘Swift Retort,’ Director General ISPR Babar Iftikhar said during 73-year history of the country, Pakistani nation and forces stood united in every need of hour.

He said February 27 can validly be described as ‘thanksgiving day’ and manifests the firm resolves to defend the country and nation. “After February 14, 2019 Pulwana incident, India leveled baseless allegations despite the fact that Pakistan had offered all kind of cooperation for probe into the incident.”

In this situation, he said Pakistan played the role of a responsible nation as it always endeavored for peace in the region. “But, India resorted to a cowardly act of intruding into Pakistan’s airspace. Our forces were ready and Indian warplanes had to run away after dropping their payload in our forest area.”

He said :“This was an open challenge for Pakistan and our forces responded in broad day-light, engaging six targets and hitting down two Indian planes and arresting their Squadron Leader.”     

“February 27 is a momentous day and a glaring example of our valor and commitment to national security as once again our forces fully came up to masses’ expectations,” he added.

“With the reference to this day, we salute all our martyrs and survivors of wars since 1947 as we reiterate to fight out all internal and external threats faced to the motherland,” he said.

“There is no price for honor and dignity and our forces and nation have been sacrificing for honor and national defence”, he added.

He said : “Pakistani leadership and Armed Forces are well aware of Indian acts that always posed serious threat to regional peace despite our peace overtures.”

Briefing the media on Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said that in the past two decades, Pakistan had fought a successful war against terrorism.

“Our nation and forces have not only fought against terrorism to ensure peace in our region, but rather contributed towards global peace through extraordinary sacrifices and efforts”, he added.

He said Radd-ul-Fasaad had completed its three years and this Operation was a very significant step towards long lasting peace in the region. “The Pakistan Armed Forces had made numerous achievements as in Kinetic Domain over 1,200 military and around 150,000 intelligence based operations were conducted killing 17,000 and confiscating 450 tonnes of explosive from terrorists’ possession.”

In warfare and other domains important legislation was made while 1000 Al Qaeda terrorist were either killed or apprehended in various anti-terrorism operations, he said . Intelligence sharing was made with around 70 countries helping in eliminating several international terrorist networks, he added.

The DG ISPR informed that a total of 46,000 square kilometers area was cleansed of terrorists and writ of the state was established. “Today, there is no such area in the country where terrorists can challenge writ of the government,” he added.

He said overall 80,000 sacrifices were rendered by Pakistan in the war against terrorism as the country suffered over US$ 180 billion economic losses.

Major General Babar Iftikhar said the merger of tribal areas into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and enforcement of civil administration in those areas was the victory of peace.

He said: “Operational Radd-ul-Fasaad” had only one agenda and that was stable, peaceful and normalized Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s journey from terrorism to tourism has been challenging and nerve-testing. Today, the country’s sports arenas have reinvigorated and peace is all around,” he added.

On the other hand, he said, in India the minorities were fighting and struggling for their freedom and existence whereas in Pakistan the minorities have the right to practice their religious customs and live freely. “We honor and esteem the white color in our flag and respect minorities rights,” the DG ISPR said.

He said Pakistan made many sacrifices to defeat terrorism in the country and we were fully capable of dealing with any sabotage activities. “No one should test our capabilities and qualities as we will make every sacrifice to protect our motherland and safeguard its sovereignty.”

Commenting on prevailing situation along the Line of Control (LOC), ISPR DG Major General  Babar Iftikhar said Pakistan was facing consistent threats from India at its eastern border.

“Pakistan’s civil and military leadership is fully aware of what India is playing, in desperation, to divert attention from its internal disruption. India’s this act is extremely dangerous for the regional peace, ” he said.

During the last few years, he said India did increase the ceasefire violations on the LOC to sabotage Pakistan’s achievements in the ongoing war against terror.

“During the current year so far, India committed 384 ceasefire violations in which our two innocent citizens embraced martyrdom and 30 received injuries,” he said and regretted that Indian forces were even not hesitating to target school-going children in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

In 2018, he said highest casualties were recorded, while the highest number of ceasefire violations on the LOC was registered in 2019. “The graph of violations on LOC started increasing after India’s current government came into power in 2014.”

The ISPR DG said Pakistan’s Armed Forces gave befitting response to India’s increased ceasefire violations, causing heavy losses to the adversary. “We are a responsible and professional force; we only target military installations, when we are provoked, while Indian army opens fire on unarmed civilians.”

He said the Jammu and Kashmir was a recognized dispute between Pakistan and India, and for resolution of which, the United Nations Secretary Council had passed several resolutions.

He said India had not accepted the reality of the sub-continent’s partition and creation of Pakistan since 1947 by heart till-date, and India’s present leadership had reiterated it time and again.

He said Indian brutalities in Occupied Kashmir had been continuing unabatedly for the last 73 years, adding the people of Kashmir were facing increased suppression for the last 207 days due to the India’s August 5 action.

“Life is completely paralyzed in Occupied Kashmir and genocide of Kashmiris is being done there. There is a complete lockdown situation,” he said adding today the Kashmir issue was not only a dispute of ideology and geography, but now it had started becoming the biggest human rights violations tragedy in the world history. He said Genocide Watch, human rights organizations and international media had exposed India’s state terrorism despite the ‘complete lockdown’ there, which triggered protests in the world and across India. “The rising voices against brutality cannot be suppressed. The Kashmir issue once again has fully gained global attention.”

The United Nations, he said had reiterated its stance that the Kashmir issue should be resolved in line with the resolutions passed the Security Council. World powers and key leaders had expressed concerns over the prevailing situation in Occupied Kashmir, he added.

“Resolution of the Kashmir issue is not only our national interest but also a guarantee for our national security. In Kashmiris’ movement for freedom, we were, are and will remain with them forever”, he added.

Answering a question, the ISPR DG said the world, especially Pakistan, was cognizant of the miseries of besieged Kashmiris, adding all options were on the table to resolve the Kashmir issue.

He said the Kashmir issue had become a flashpoint globally as Pakistani leadership had done its best to highlight the issue at international forums.

Replying to question about the ongoing US-Taliban peace dialogue and subsequent agreement, he said there was no report of any interruption in the dialogue process, expressing the confidence that the upcoming agreement would yield good results.  “No one, other than Pakistan, is more aspiring for peace in Afghanistan… and we are hoping for the best.”

To another question about reports of Coronavirus cases in Pakistan, he said the Ministry of Health had made all-out measures to control the virus as only two cases had so far been identified, which showed that our efforts were paying-off.

He said the Armed Forces were ready to assist the government in that regard, whenever they were called.