Director General Inter-Services Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor said on Wednesday that the Army is an impartial institution and has nothing to do with politics. The DG ISPR said that the Army is busy with matters pertaining to national security, adding that the issues do not ‘permit’ it to respond to allegations.
Maj Gen Ghafoor said protests have been taking place since a while. “Maulana Fazl’s march is a political activity and the Army has nothing to do with it,” said the DG ISPR, terming Fazl a senior politician. The DG ISPR said that whatever statement he gave, he did it so in the capacity of the representative of the armed forces.
“Maybe in politics it happens that people give their personal opinions but I’m the DG ISPR and whatever statement I make, I do so as the DG ISPR,” he added. In response to a question, the DG ISPR said that it was General Bajwa’s wish that the role of the armed forces in elections remained minimum. The armed forces cannot on their own decide about deployment,” he said. “It is the government of the time that requisitions the armed forces, as per the constitution, to help with the election process.
He said that when the army chief had met parliamentarians during the February 27 crisis in the parliament, he had urged them to constitute a committee where they would decide a mechanism to decide all key issues. It is not the army’s wish to get involved in the election process, he said. “That is the decision of the government of the time. The Election Commission (EC) is constituted by the government and the opposition parties.
The DG ISPR said that the issue of occupied Kashmir between India and Pakistan had been going on since the past 70 years. “Every day there is firing between the two sides across the Line of Control (LoC),” he said. “Our soldiers have been sacrificing their lives on the LoC hence this issue will not cool down anytime soon. Pakistan or any other institution cannot compromise on the issue of occupied Kashmir.”
The DG ISPR said that Pakistan would never let go of the Kashmir issue till it does not reach its logical conclusion. In response to a simple question about Fazl’s criticism of the Kartarpur Corridor, the DG ISPR said that it was a one-way route. “It’s [Kartarpur Corridor] is a one-way corridor,” he said. “Sikh pilgrims from India can only come from there to Pakistan. The temple is fenced and they cannot move an inch outside it,” he added.
The DG ISPR said that Pakistan would handle all the security affairs of the corridor. The DG ISPR said that the armed forces had supported the government during the 2014 sit-in protests by the PTI. “As instructed, the armed forces had fulfilled its duties by protecting the important government buildings and made security arrangements,” he said. He said that the armed forces fulfill the tasks they are given by the government.