If PDM comes to Rawalpindi, we’ll offer them tea: DG ISPR

MANEND NEWS, Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar is addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi.

He said the objective of the press conference was the security of the country and border situation and to present a comparative analysis of security challenges of the past decade.

“The last 10 years were a challenging time in every aspect for Pakistan,” he said at the start of his presser, adding that in 2020 alone, the coronavirus pandemic and locust attacks put Pakistan’s food security and economy in danger.

On the other hand, he said, proscribed organisations were being facilitated to harm Pakistan on the western border.

“Despite all these challenges, the state, institutions, the armed forces and intelligence agencies and most importantly the Pakistani people unitedly faced these challenges,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said, adding that along with restoring peace in the tribal districts along the western border, socioeconomic projects had been launched.

Concrete steps were taken to solidify the Pak-Afghan and Pak-Iran borders and “as a result of successful operations against terrorism, the security situation improved considerably,” he noted.

“Whether it was India’s designs or hybrid warfare, whether the challenges were internal or external, we not only showed and identified [them] but also combatted them successfully and the world is recognising it too because the truth always prevails.”

Listing some of the measures taken in the security domain, Maj Gen Iftikhar said Operation Raddul Fasad had “consolidated the achievements of the entire decade”.

“Through this operation, the support base, facilitators, abettors, financiers [of terrorism] and weapons were destroyed to a large extent. Thankfully, today in Pakistan there is no organised terrorist infrastructure like in the past,” he added.

Under the operation, he said, 371,000 intelligence-based actions were conducted in the last three years alone. “If we evaluate the manifestation of success, in 2007-08, only 37 per cent of the areas in the tribal areas were under state control. Today, they have all become part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he added.

The ISPR chief said there had been a 35pc reduction in major terrorism incidents in 2020 compared to 2019, while terror incidents which had hit an annual peak of 90 in the year 2013 had now fallen to around 30.

Law-enforcement agencies also averted more than 50pc of the terror threats over the course of the last year, he added.

Answering a question about the announcement by the president of the opposition Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, that the alliance’s anti-government long march to Islamabad could also be headed to Rawalpindi, Maj Gen Iftikhar said: “I don’t see a reason for coming to Pindi. And if at all they want to come, we will offer them refreshments (chai pani) and look after them. What more can I say?”

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