DG ISPR: Pakistan-Afghanistan Border internationally recognized; fencing to be completed at all costs

RAWALPINDI (APP): Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Wednesday clarified that Pakistan and Afghanistan Border was an internationally recognized border and the ongoing fencing would be completed at all costs.
Addressing a media briefing, the ISPR DG said the purpose of the press conference was to review the efforts made at the end of 2021 in the national security domain particularly country’s defence, internal security, landmark achievements of Operation Radd-ul-Fassad, western and eastern border management.
Commenting on the Western Border Management process, Major General Babar Iftikhar said the fencing along Pakistan-Afghanistan border had the blood of the martyrs of the Armed Forces of Pakistan and would be completed to remain forever.
“Almost 94% of the fencing process along Pakistan-Afghanistan Border has been completed whereas 71% of the Western Border with Iran has been fenced with the sole aim to regulate mobility, transport and trade of the masses across the Border,” the ISPR DG said.
He mentioned that the fencing was not meant to divide the people living across the international border rather to protect them.
In 2021, the security situation along the Western Border remained up challenging, he said, adding, “It has local, operational and strategic dynamics that are being addressed off and on at the concerned levels.”
He added that a special operation was being conducted in North Waziristan in 2021 that resulted in restoring complete state writ on the Pakistan and Afghanistan Border.
“This area had inaccessible terrain, harsh weather and difficult terrain that provided the facility of easy trespassing to terrorists across the international border. The hard terrain and tough weather conditions also halted fencing process in this area which has been completed after the completion of the Operation,” the ISPR DG told.
He added that the abrupt pull out foreign forces from Afghanistan in August 2021 and the consequent situation had direct impacts on the security of Pakistan.
“We are focused and the initiatives going under the Western Border regime will be completed in the stipulated time,” he said.
The border fence across the Pakistan and Afghanistan Border was the need of the hour to regulate security, transport and trade, he said.
“As per the devised mechanism under the regime regular movement of the masses is going on and it will be further enhanced with the passage of time,” he noted.
He mentioned that while eradicating false news, hearsay, misconceptions, and few localized issues had to be resolved with open heart to achieve the fundamental objective of peace.
“There is complete harmony between Pakistan and Afghanistan governments on this matter,” he said.
He told that Pakistan has over 1,200 security posts whereas there were only 377 security posts on the Afghanistan side of the international border.
Briefing the media over Eastern Border Management, he informed that the line of control (LoC) remained peaceful throughout the year 2021 after a contact between the Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of Pakistan and India in February 2021 to implement the Ceasefire Agreement made in 2003.
The biggest dividend, he said of the ceasefire was that it brought a significant betterment in the lives of the local populace residing along the LoC.
But alongwith that the Indian Military leadership measures to create propaganda against the Pakistan Army of carrying out infiltration into Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) were being made. It was intended to divert the international community’s attention from worst state-sponsored brutalities unleashed in innocent Kashmiris, and systematic demographic changes being made in the IIOJK, he added.
“The propaganda and hoax allegations of reported infiltration by Pakistan amid its anti-infiltration grid is humorous and puts a question mark on its so-called security mechanism,” the ISPR DG said.
India, he said at one hand was facing religious extremism and on the other and it was jeopardizing the regional peace amid its never-ending arms race. “It will have negative impacts on the region’s peace and will also disturb the balance of power in conventional warfare,” he warned.
He underlined that recently, the Indian occupant forces carried out a fake encounter in Keran Sector across Neelum Valley along the LoC and martyred an innocent Kashmiri and blamed Pakistan for perpetrating infiltration in that incident.
Indian media, he said had been projecting images of an alleged terrorist Shabbir in army uniform which was alive and living in his house in Shardah, the ISPR DG mentioned.
India, he said had always been trying to externalize the indigenous freedom struggle of Kashmiris whereas the genuine Kashmiri leadership and international community were raising their voices against the illegal suppression of Kashmiris legitimate freedom movement.
The worst human siege was in place since the illegitimate act of August 5, 2019 of the Indian occupant regime in IIOJK, he said.
“The findings of the Russell Tribunal on Kashmir took place in Sarajevo from 17-19 December are notable that focused four key issues of genocide, decolonisation, secular colonialism and Indian war crimes against Kashmiris in IIOJK,” he added.
The Tribunal was participated by 15 international judges, and many other experts who categorically mentioned the Human Rights Watch and Amensty International Reports on Indian forces’ human rights abuses in IIOJK.
“Today’s day January 5 is very important as the United Nations promised the people of Kashmir for their right to self-determination which remains unfulfilled,” he underscored.
Pakistan, he said paid rich tribute to the unwavering courage, and never ending sacrifices of Kashmiris for their just right of self-determination that was promised by the international community.
DG ISPR Major General Babar Iftikhar brushed away speculations of any secret deal being made with the former convicted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general while commenting on the Western Border Management measures said that there was almost 7-8 km which means that it was challenge to check hostile activities from across the Afghan side.
Pakistan Army in 2021 Pak-Afghan border 164 and Iran 31 border forts and seven watch towers were set up whereas collectively 673 border forts and terminals have been established along the Pak-Afghan border
Pakistan has created 67 news wings in Frontier Corps of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan to stabilize border security and also established border terminals at Torkham, Kharlachi, Ghulam Khan, Angor Adda and Badini and Chaman.
“All sorts of cargo and pedestrian movement has been ensured through these terminals along the Western Border that has resulted in huge success to control smuggling and narco-trafficking through these routes,” he added.
The prevailing situation in Afghanistan could lead to a serious humanitarian crisis that would have a direct impact on Pakistan and the regional security.
The chief of army staff (COAS) has also clearly indicated this issue at various forums and his meetings with various international delegations, he said.
The ISPR DG while explaining the achievements of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in 2021 said this operation was completely different as it was neither an area nor military specific operation.
“Pakistan’s security forces have completely destroyed their entire infrastructure in various successful activities and wiped out numerous terrorist organisations,” he added.
During Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad in 2021, he said the security forces have conducted over 60,000 intelligence based operations (IBOs), where the civil and military intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies and security forces of the country did remarkable efforts and played a critical role in identifying and eradicating terrorist networks. He added that the intelligence agencies in 2021 released 890 threat alerts due to which 70 percent possible terrorist events were curtailed successfully. “The terrorist involved in these incidents including its planners and facilitators have been exposed and arrested by the security forces,” he added. Moreover, he said Polio teams were targeted by the terrorists to halt the immunisation drive in Balochistan and KP whereas the security forces provided complete protection to them and the vaccination campaign was underway despite hard condition.
“The efforts of Polio workers and the security teams deployed along them are commendable who without bothering about their lives continued the mission of polio free Pakistan,” he added.
Under a dedicated effort, he told that 95 demining teams in tribal areas were employed that had recovered over 70,000 mines and unexploded ordnance and many precious live were saved. “During this effort many security officers got injured and martyred,” he highlighted. The Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) director general said Karachi was considered among the largest cities of the world owing to its population size and was considered the backbone of the country’s economy.
The crime index ranking of Karachi was number 6th in 2014 and at present in 2021 it had descended to 129th position and had far better peace situation than many other cities of the developed world, he said.
“Terrorism, Target killing, kidnapping for ransom and extortion incidents have significantly reduced in Karachi,” he said while narrating the dividends of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad.
In 2021, he said as many as 248 officers and Jawans of the security forces embraced martyrdom in various operations for the motherland’s defence.
“We pay homage to the families and loved ones of the martyrs of Pakistan for their supreme sacrifice that helped in restoring peace in the country,” he added.
During these operations, he said over 134,000 illegal weapons and more than nine million ammunition were recovered. “Special attention has been given to the capacity building of law enforcement agencies, as many as 18,000 Levies and Khasadar personnel have been trained in three phases and additional 4,000 officials are being trained in the fourth phase,” he informed. These officials after completing their training were dispensing their duties in newly merged districts of KP, he said
Under National Action Plan, full throttle action was launched against over 78 terrorist organizations and leading terrorists. “Complete implementation of National Action Plan and Paigham-i-Pakistan can help in overcoming extremism completely particularly those elements that perpetrate sectarianism, hatred on the basis of linguistics and religion,” he said.
He clarified that no armed individual or group could be allowed to take law into his hands as societies used to progress amid supremacy of law. “Use of force is the sole prerogative of the state and no one will be given compensation in this regard,” he said.
In the evolving security matrix of the region, he said it was needed that the armed forces of the country should keep their capabilities and capacities abreast with emerging trends and challenges to ensure the security of Pakistan’s geographical borders and internal security. He added that in this regard the departments associated with the defence production had undertaken massive indegnisation projects that not only helped in conserving precious national reserves but also augmented the foreign exchange through exports at a massive scale.
The ISPR DG informed that the security dividends of all these efforts including the socioeconomic uplift projects in the far-flung areas resulted in revival of normalcy in the areas where security operations have been conducted.
“The armed forces are providing security to such development initiatives at different locations. However, over 831 development schemes of worth Rs31billion are underway in tribal districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he added.
Due to security and stability in these areas around 550 such development schemes have been completed in 2021 that included markets, hospitals, educational institutions and communication infrastructure, he added. In Balochistan, he said all hostile efforts of enemy countries to CPEC and other development projects have been failed and its security has been ensured after great sacrifices of the Armed Forces.
The construction of projects like Karot Hydro Power Project which has been completed 94 percent have been ensured unimpeded through strict security, he told. Under the federal government’s Vision Balochistan, 199 developmental projects of worth Rs601 billion have been initiated that included health, agriculture, transport and education’s mega schemes that were provided complete security for its in time completion, he added.
During COVID-19, Armed Forces of Pakistan were fully engaged in the efforts against the pandemic where the mandatory vaccination was underway which was an effective tool against the contagion.
He mentioned that public and particularly Media has played crucial role in implementing COVID-19 safety protocols in the country. Despite the ongoing pandemic, Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, Eastern and Western Border deployments of the forces, the Armed Forces of Pakistan participated in various international military exercises including those with US, Russia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China, Turkey, Egypt, Azerbaijan and Jordan’s armies.
The ISPR DG pointed out that it has been noticed that an organised campaign was being run to malign the national institutions including the government and armed forces to create a trust deficit among the masses towards them.
“Armed Forces are aware of all these activities and its linkages. People within Pakistan and outside the country who are hurling half-truths, fake news, concocted false propaganda and targeting individuals and institutions and they will be failed as they got earlier.”