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DG ISPR refutes ‘baseless’ speculations on deal with Nawaz Sharif

RAWALPINDI: Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar on Wednesday refuted speculations regarding a deal with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

“I will only say that all of this is baseless speculation,” he said while addressing a press conference over multi-security challenges in the region. “If anyone asks you about a deal then you should ask the circumstances and the name of the person striking deal with them.”

He termed it baeless speculation and said the country face more serious issues such as health and education.

‘Pak-Afghan border fencing to safeguard people’

The DG ISPR discussed issues related to the Pak-Afghan border, and said that fencing was aimed at safeguarding people rather than dividing them.

He said they completely focused on erecting a fence on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border and will complete it as soon as possible. “We are totally focused, and under the western border management regime, the work that is underway will be completed in some time,” he said.

“95 percent of fencing process has been completed,” he said and added that erecting it was necessary to ensure security and proper movement of people and goods between the two countries.

“Our martyrs have laid down their lives for erecting this fence and 67 special wings have been formed for FC Balochistan and FC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to secure the border,” he said.

He said Pakistan has to bear the brunt of the pullout of the foreign forces from Afghanistan and there is currently complete harmony among the leadership of both sides to solve local issues.

The DG ISPR deemed the recent uprooting of the fence by Taliban fighters as “one or two localised problems”, which he said is being discussed by the governments of both countries.

No ceasefire with TTP

He further shared that a ceasefire with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has been ended after December 9.

“The ceasefire ended on December 9. It was a confidence-building measure taken ahead of talks with these violent non state actors on the request of the current afghan government.

“There was a requirement for the interim Afghan govt that TTP should not be using their soil against us so they said they would bring them to the table and make them accept what Pakistan wants. Obviously, those external conditions were yet to be settled,” he added.

‘India moving towards religious extremism’

The DG ISPR said that Pakistan and India had agreed to a ceasefire in 2003 and after it came into force in February 2021, the peace returned to the border. “This has also brought improvement in the lives of the population living at both sides of the border,” he said.

While speaking over threats being hurled from Indian military leadership, the DG ISPR said that it depicts particular political thinking which has dragged India towards the path of religious extremism.

“Indian measures will have a negative impact on the region,” he said. He said that India has turned Kashmir into a place of worst humanitarian crisis as the occupied territory has been under siege since August 2019.

The DG ISPR also reminded the international community regarding its promise being made from the people of Kashmir regarding their right to self-determination on January 5, 1949.

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