Islamabad: Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor stated that the decision to put Hafiz Saeed under house arrest “is a policy decision”. When questioned about the move during a media briefing, the DG ISPR said, “This is a policy decision that the state took in national interest. Lots of institutions will have to do their jobs.”
Ghafoor denied that any foreign pressure was behind the arrest of the JuD chief.
Speaking about the ongoing situation with India, Ghafoor said, “We don’t want war with anyone. War is not a solution to anything.”
“We want the Kashmir issue to be resolved via United Nations resolutions and dialogue, but this desire for peace should not be misconstrued as a weakness,” Ghafoor added.
“There have been 945 ceasefire violations across the Line of Control and the Working Boundary over the past three years,” he said. “In the last four months alone, there have been 314 violations, due to which 46 Pakistan citizens and 40 Indian soldiers have been killed.”
When asked how the army was aware of Indian casualties, he said that although India doesn’t often reveal their army’s casualties, “the communication intercepts we receive tell us how many casualties took place on their side.”
“Normalcy at the border has only come through providing a befitting response [to ceasefire violations],” he stated.
He claimed that India is “doing all this according to a plan. It is trying to divert the world’s attention away from atrocities in India-held Kashmir.”
“India’s ‘surgical strike’ was one episode of this drama,” he added.
“We want peaceful resolution of issues, but will not compromise on our dignity and respect,” he said. “Pakistan will take steps to strengthen its defence.”
The DG ISPR said Pakistan has “sacrificed the blood of 70,000 (persons) in this war (against terrorism). Peace doesn’t come overnight.”
“All terrorist hideouts in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas have been eliminated. (Terrorists) were either killed, or they fled towards the Afghan border, where the absence of the military allowed them to hide,” Ghafoor said.
“When Zarb-i-Azb began, our tribal brothers left their homes. 84 per cent have returned, and the rest will be repatriated soon.”
There have been a total of 26,000 IBOs [intelligence-based operations] and combing operations in Pakistan, he said. Of these, 3,000 took place in Balochistan in 2016, and 9,000 took place in Karachi.
Terrorism, extortion and target killing dropped 90 percent in Karachi over the last two years due to the Rangers operation, he said.