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DG ISPR Asserts No Organised Terrorist Infrastructure Operates on Pakistan’s Soil

Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor Ask Pasthun Tahafuz Movement to provide missing persons list and disclose source of funding


RAWALPINDI– Pakistan Military’s central spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor on Monday made it clear that there is no organised terrorist infrastructure in any part of Pakistan, but there is possibility of presence of scattered individuals of second or third tiers of banned outfits.

“We can say with evidence that now there is no organised terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan,” said Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Ghfoor while briefing media about security matters and recent tensions between Pakistan and India.

“We share intelligence with 70 countries,” he informed, as he lamented that over 81,000 Pakistanis were martyred or injured in the war against terrorism.

“This is the cost we paid for this cooperation,” he said.

The spokesman noted that radicalisation took root in Pakistan due to the impact of the Afghan jihad and the Iranian revolution.

“After 9/11, international powers wanted to pressure Pakistan to devise policies according to their will,” he said.

“Terrorism came to Pakistan when international forces started the operation in Afghanistan. Since 9/11, Pakistan conducted kinetic operations against terrorist organisations.”

The DG ISPR said it was decided on January 1 this year as to how to mainstream proscribed organisations.

“But there was an issue of finances. In February, when this was announced for the first time in Pakistan’s history funds were allotted for this.

“To control welfare of these organisations, the government has made a mechanism to bring their hospitals [etc] under the government’s supervision,” he added.

Pointing out that over 25 million children in Pakistan are not in school, the military spokesman said there are over 30,000 madrasas in Pakistan since 1980s and over two million children receive education in these madrassas.

“Of these madrassas, less than 100 would divert students towards militancy,” he said.

The military spokesman said the government has decided to mainstream all these madrassas.

“Their curriculum will include contemporary subjects. These madrassas will be under the Ministry of Education.”

“In the first phase, a bill will be prepared,” he elaborated. “In the second phase, the syllabus will be made and teachers posted. In the third phase, mainstreaming will take place.”

“At the start Rs2 billion [will be] required, and then Rs1 billion annually,” he added.

‘India telling one lie after another’

On the recent border tensions with India, Major General Ghafoor said the neighbouring country was continuing to spew lies.

“Since the last two months India has been continuing to lie. As a responsible country we have not responded to their lies. Lies have to be repeated again and again. Truth only needs to be spoken once,” he said.

“The truth is that there was an incident in Pulwama. Attacks on the police in Pulwama have happened before. There was no damage at our end in Balakot. We took local and foreign media there to show them [the truth].

“We will facilitate Indian media if they choose to come to Balakot to see the truth,” the DG ISPR offered.

“When there is a war you receive reports from the ground. When I was to come for the press conference, I tweeted based on reports that there were two pilots. After the news conference, reports were cleared and there was one pilot as the reports received were from two different spots.

“We are waiting for the appropriate time to honour our pilots who downed the Indian planes,” he said.

“India has not said what happened in Pakistan’s counter-strike. Who was at the brigade headquarters when Pakistan conducted the strike?” the DG ISPR questioned.

“On 28th [February] when India was preparing to fire missiles, what happened at the Line of Control that night? How many gun positions did you have to change?”

He further said that the concept of Hindutva in India, as a result of which Muslims have been targeted there, raises genuine concern for Pakistanis.

On the Kashmir dispute, Major General Ghafoor said that support for the Kashmiri people “runs in our blood.”

“Support for our Kashmiri brethren runs in our blood. We will do whatever it takes for their independence.”

“If India is sincere for peace in the region, they should hold talks and resolve the Kashmir issue,” he added.

Pakistan to mainstream over 30,000 madaris

Pakistan will mainstream the over 30,000 madaris in the country, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (DG ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor said in a news conference on Monday.

“25 million Pakistani children are not in school…There are over 30,000 madaris in Pakistan and 2.5 million children receive an education here.”

“The government and support institutions have decided to mainstream all these madaris… Their curriculum will include contemporary subjects… These madaris will be under the Ministry of Education,” DG ISPR added.

According to Major General Ghafoor, the Army Chief had engaged with Ulema from all sects on this and they all agreed that it was necessary to mainstream madaris and contemporary education must be taught.

The syllabus for the madaris would not include hate speech and ensure respect for other sects, said the military spokesman.

He added that madaris students after completing their studies would have degrees and have the same opportunities as students studying in private schools.

Elaborating further, Major General Ghafoor told members of the media that in the first phase since legislation was required a bill was being prepared, in the second the syllabus would be reviewed teaches assigned and finances discussed. In the third phase mainstreaming of the madaris would take place.

According to the DG ISPR, at the start of this process, Rs2 billion would be required and then Rs1 billion annually would be required.

Action against proscribed organisaitons

The DG ISPR said that after kinetic operations were completed the state of Pakistan decided to take action against proscribed organisations and formulated the National Action Plan.

He dismissed that recent actions against proscribed organisations were being taken due to external pressures. “The state of Pakistan had made the decision a long time back to rid our society of extremism, terrorism and steps were being taken for this.”

“On January 1, 2019, the decision was taken on how to deal with proscribed organisations but there was an issue of finances. The decision-making body decided that execution would be difficult without finances. In February when this was announced, for the first time in the history of Pakistan the government allotted funds for this.”

To control the welfare setup of these organisations, DG ISPR said the government had made a setup that all hospitals and madaris which are not violent and extremist would be brought under the supervision of the government.