Pakistan only facilitator not guarantor of Afghan peace process: DG ISPR

Web DeskWeb Editor

10th Jul, 2021. 08:22 pm
Pakistan only facilitator not guarantor of Afghan peace process: DG ISPR

RAWALPINDI: Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major-General Babar Iftikhar on Saturday said that the Afghan peace process has many aspects where it should be understood that Pakistan was only a facilitator and not a guarantor in the process.

The ISPR DG, in an interview, said the mainstay of resolution to the matter was on different factions of Afghans who would have to decide the future course of the issue.

Major General Babar said that the peace process was at a critical stage as far as Pakistan was concerned and it took efforts to take the peace process sincerely with the core vision of Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.

“In [the] past 20 years, [the] US Army trained Afghan National Army that has strength, capability and its own Air Force with [the] presence on ground,” he said, adding that the Afghan National Army was trained, equipped and had special air forces.

The DG ISPR said: “Trillions of dollars have been spent on them and as a professional soldier, I believe that they should be able to fight this onslaught as a professional force.”

Major-General Babar said that they have the capacity and despite that they did not withstand then its reasons to be guided through internal dynamics and on ground complexities.

“We needed to understand that it would be Afghans own decision and would not be dictated by any foreign party,” he added.

The US has withdrawn and their allied forces have left and would completely leave by August 31, whereas the stakeholders in the region would have to decide the issue in consultation with the Afghan leadership, he said.

The DG ISPR said the counter-strategy was long discussed and the world had observed that Pakistan has very sincerely taken the peace process.

“Pakistan has no favourites among Afghan stakeholders. The decisions to be taken by Afghans and they have to decide their leadership, in case of any deadlock we can assist. Pakistan has made all-out efforts and could not exceed limits. Afghans have the capacity and capability to decide their future course themselves,” he said.

The ISPR DG also said that the gun (force) was not the solution to resolve Afghan crisis, as through gun, it could not be decided since the past two decades and it was not an option in the future.

Referring to the armed conflict taking place in Afghanistan among Taliban and Afghan forces, he said, this was just a phase and a decision could be made only through dialogues.

The DG ISPR said Pakistan-Afghanistan border security and management has been beefed up and the 2,611km stretch of the border was 90 per cent fenced, whereas the remaining areas were either high altitude or glaciated places. However, forts were built with proper mechanisms and Frontier Corps (FC) new wings developed to manage the posts, he added.

The spillover effect after the civil war may have come to Pakistan that had come earlier and “we were very well aware of that and took many measures to cope with the situation”, the DG ISPR said.

“Daesh and TTP [Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan] groups are based in Afghanistan and attacking Pakistan’s Armed Forces, whereas we bore casualties during border fencing,” he said.

Major General Babar said the mechanism for the Afghan border fencing was better and the Armed Forces were very well-prepared, adding, “God Willing, we should be able to take care of this situation.”

Replying to another query on impending Afghan refugees’ influx in case of any civil war, he said, the Interior Ministry has made contingent planning to manage refugees’ inflow in case of violence, whereas the international community and regional stakeholders would have to decide the Afghan issue.

He said Pakistan’s approach was very clear, as it remained committed to never let its soil be used against anybody. Unfortunately, there has been no serious efforts made by the international and Afghan forces to make air tight control to contain terrorist activities against Pakistan, the DG ISPR said.

The responsible withdrawal meant a meaningful exodus of the US forces after a complete transition, which was the demand of all the stakeholders, he said, adding that the Indian investment in Afghanistan is aimed at establishing its influence to damage Pakistan’s interests; however, after the prevailing scenario, there was huge frustration on the Indian side.

India’s focus was towards damaging Pakistan and it had moved its spoilers in different directions to blame Pakistan for the unrest in Afghanistan, whereas the world has realised that Pakistan did earnest efforts to resolve the Afghan issue as per the local masses’ aspirations, he added.

The DG ISPR said the Indian propaganda would not get any traction whatever propaganda level they were going to apply.

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