No one should attempt to involve army in politics warns DG ISPR

No one should attempt to involve army in politics warns DG ISPR

Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Monday clarified that the military is not interested in the political affairs of the country while no one should attempt to involve Pakistan’s army in the politics.

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, the military spokesman said that the army is a subordinate institution of the government while the ruling government has given a very good response to counter the allegations against its institution.

“Army neither has the need to interfere in the political matters nor should attempts be made to drag it in,” the ISPR DG added.

He also said that the army will serve tea and snacks to the leaders of the opposition if they plan to stage a long march towards Rawalpindi as signaled by Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) – an alliance of the opposition political parties.

In response to a question, Maj Gen Iftikhar said that there is no reality in allegations against the army while only such allegations are responded to which have some weight or are based on facts.

"We have our hands full and we neither want to get involved in such things nor will we. We have stayed the course [and] we will stay the course. There is nothing to worry about; we are not worried," he siad.

While answering another question about the PDM's allegations against the army, Maj Gen Iftikhar denied the impression that there was "no concern" within the army over the statements.

"The army is doing its job despite whatever is being said. [But] the concern remains in its place," he added.

The DG ISPR also said that there was "absolutely no" backdoor contact between the army and the opposition.

"There is no such thing. We want to stay out of it and we are out of it," he added.

Earlier, the ISPR chief said there had been a 35pc reduction in major terrorism incidents in 2020 compared to 2019.

He said that after clearing the erstwhile FATA, the security forces were now focused on Balochistan, adding that two Frontier Corps quarters were looking after the province now, instead of one in the past, while a special security division had been raised for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which was also looking after coastline security.

In addition, the formations that were present in Quetta have moved to Balochistan's hinterland and are conducting intelligence-based operations.

Answering a question about the presence of the militant Islamic State (IS) group in Pakistan, which claimed last week's killing of 11 Shia Hazara coal miners in the Mach area, the DG ISPR said Pakistan had stated that India was supporting IS's Daesh-e-Pakistan wing in the dossier it unveiled alleging Indian sponsorship of terrorism in the country.

Detailing the security situation along the western frontier, the DG ISPR said the introduction of border terminals, scanners, biometric system, border posts and fencing had helped maintain peace in the area.

He said 83pc work on the 2,611-kilometre Pak-Afghan border fence had been completed, while the remaining work will be completed by the end of the year. Meanwhile, more than 37pc work has been completed on fencing the Pak-Iran border.

Briefing journalists about the situation along the eastern border, the DG ISPR said there had been an increase in ceasefire violations by Indian troops, who had "especially targeted" the civilian areas near the Line of Control including women, children and the elderly.