Pakistan will not be caught unaware if something happens on Afghan border: DG ISPR
Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar said on Friday that the situation on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan is “fairly normal and pretty much under control” and assured the nation that the army is prepared and will not be unaware if something happens on the western front.
The DG ISPR in a press conference on the “evolving situation in Afghanistan” spoke to the media about the “implied national security problems” that the country may face and the measures that have been taken by Pakistan.
Major General Iftikhar admitted that the situation that unfolded in Afghanistan before August 15 was rapid and beyond everyone’s ‘expectations’.
“Since the withdrawal of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan was already decided it [Taliban takeover in Afghanistan] was a given. It was never a matter of if but a matter of when,” said Maj Gen Iftikhar. He added that Pakistan had already started taking measures prior to the Taliban takeover in Kabul to guard the Pakistan-Afghanistan International Border.
“We have no doubt that if Pakistan’s side of the border is secure and stable and movement on both sides is controlled. It is definitely going to have a positive impact on the other side,” said the head of military’s media wing.
Maj Gen Iftikhar said that before August 15 Pakistan and Afghanistan’s notified border crossings were “closed and re-opened” due to the “fluctuating situation” in the neighbouring country. He also reminded the media that Pakistan on “more than two occasions” had provided “safe passage”, under military norms, to the Afghan National Army over their fears of Taliban attacks.
“While we were anticipating the way the situation was going to unfold. There was a chance of instability along the border so we moved our regular troops already deployed [them] in the border regions,” said the DG ISPR. He added that the regular troops were also moved to the “important notified crossings” at the border to ensure that “border control was well managed”.
“Immediately, after August 15 as things unfolded the terminals and all border crossings have been kept open because a major reason is Afghanistan is a landlocked country and you cannot close the borders indefinitely on humanitarian grounds as well,” said the DG ISPR.
The military’s spokesperson also shared that all the “notified crossings have been kept open” and trade convoys have been “continuously moving on both sides” of the border.
Maj Gen Iftikhar pointed out that right now the biggest base in the immediate vicinity of Afghanistan for evacuation of foreigners is Pakistan. He added that over 5,500 foreign nationals have been evacuated and 113 military and commercial flights have landed from Afghanistan in Islamabad.
“So I would say the situation right now along the Pakistan-Afghanistan international border is fairly normal. There has been no untoward incident in the border regions,” the DG ISPR told the media.
The major general told the media that he believes that other than Afghanistan and its people, the biggest victims of the conflict have been the people of Pakistan.
“We have had the maximum brunt of whatever has unfolded in Afghanistan,” said DG ISPR. He added that Pakistan has been the continuous victim of events that unfolded in Afghanistan since the Soviet invasion of the country.
“During all this, we lost politicians, soldiers, generals, artists, women, children, journalists, students from every segment of society that is what constitutes the 86,000 plus who have given their lives in this war,” said the military’s spokesperson. However, he added that Pakistan was able to turn the tide with the support of the nation, law enforcement agencies and armed forces.
Pakistan was reaching out to Afghanistan
The DG ISPR, while highlighting the military efforts undertaken by Pakistan, shared that Islamabad was constantly reaching out to Kabul to “formalise instability which was existing along Pakistan-Afghanistan border”. He added that Pakistan’s initiatives were not responded well.
The military’s spokesperson shared that the Afghan side, prior to August 15, initiatives taken by Pakistan were not reciprocated by the government in Kabul. He explained that Pakistan was “offering this all along” as Islamabad never doubted that “peace in Afghanistan is directly linked to peace in Pakistan”.
“If there is a conflict if there is unrest in Afghanistan it has a direct impact on Pakistan and we are all witnesses to that. It was a very sincere effort all along,” said Maj Gen Iftikhar. He also urged the media to see that Pakistan was repeatedly “cautioning the world about the negative role being played by spoilers in Afghanistan for their own vested interests”.
Maj Gen Ifitkhar shared that more than 90 per cent of the Pak-Afghan border has been fenced, adding that Pakistan is also working on fencing its border with Iran.
Attacks on CPEC planned from Afghanistan: DG ISPR
The military’s spokesperson also reminded the media representatives that recent attacks targetting the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor have been planned and executed from Afghanistan.
“Security forces are also deployed for CPEC and giving sacrifices there. Of late I think most of the investigations have also been shared with you for Dassu, Lahore, Quetta, Gwadar incidents were planned and executed from Afghanistan with the help of NDS and RAW,” said Maj Gen Iftikhar.
We will not be taken unaware if something happens, says military
To a question, the DG ISPR said that Pakistan took all the steps to secure its borders from 2014 onwards because the political and military leadership had the ‘foresight’ of seeing what has happened in Afghanistan today.
“These were our apprehensions that the way situation was unfolding in Afghanistan there can be a spillover from Afghanistan,” said the spokesperson.
Maj Gen Iftikhar repeated that “despite whatever has happened” in Afghanistan the situation at the border is “fairly normal and pretty much under control”. He assured the media that there is no problem on Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.
“There are no major incidents but this does not mean that nothing can happen. Something can happen but we are prepared it is not that we will be taken unaware,” said the DG ISPR.
PM Imran Khan praised for ‘putting humanity before politics’
American broadcaster Glenn Beck has said that no other global leader but...
Opposition slams Govt over proposed price hike in gas tariff
Spokesman of Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Mohammad Zubair has...
Karachi: Punjabi female doctor facing discrimination, being forced to quit her job
A senior Punjabi female doctor of Karachi's major public hospital said that...
FM Qureshi off to New York to attend 76th UNGA session
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi left here for New York on Monday...
Pakistan’s envoy, Saudi GACA chief discuss travel restrictions
JEDDAH: Ambassador of Pakistan to Saudi Arabia Lt-Gen Bilal Akbar (Retd) held...