All illegal crossings are sealed and manned by troops along Pak-Afghan Border
Previously, paramilitary troops and levies were used to guard the border crossings with the country's eastern neighbour. PHOTO: FILE
The Pakistan Army has deployed regular troops at all border crossings with Afghanistan and all illegal crossing points have been sealed, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Major General Babar Iftikhar on Saturday.
Pakistan has been building a border fence along its porous border with Afghanistan. The initiative, which started a few years earlier, is at least 88 per cent complete. The objective is to stop the infiltration of terrorist elements from Afghanistan and control unchecked movement.
"The recent terrorist incident has linkage with the Afghanistan situation," the ISPR DG said during an interview, adding that the act was a "desperation of terrorists".
Elaborating further, the military's spokesperson said that as many as 167 terror incidents had taken place since May 1, while security forces have conducted more than 7,000 IBOs and cordon and search operations.
"Afghanistan's own stakeholders have to decide their future," Maj Gen Iftikhar said. "We are not guarantors to Afghanistan peace process." He stressed that peace in Pakistan was linked with peace in Afghanistan.
Previously, paramilitary troops and levies were used to guard the border crossings with the country's eastern neighbour.
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“We are meticulously monitoring the regional situation and playing a sincere role in Afghan peace process. We left no stone unturned in peace talks among all stakeholders of the peace process,” the chief military spokesperson added.
Maj Gen Iftikhar underlined that the security forces have prepared a lot to cope with post US and allied forces withdrawal in Afghanistan. “We made all preparations and placed all security measures keeping in view the associated threats.”
Elaborating on the security risks, he said the security domain threat include risk of revival of sleeper cells, terrorist groups in Balochistan that can join hands with hostile agencies. “We are very clear and identified those agencies. The recent particular events also occurred due to it and indicates the risk,” he added.
Pakistan had fought a long, nerve testing war against terror and achieved hard earned success, said the ISPR chief. “The border fencing along Pak-Afghan Border is 90% completed and it has been expedited along Iran border. Many forts and security posts have been constructed and proper border management mechanism has been placed,” he said. The border fencing was also beneficial for Afghanistan’s security, he added.
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The ISPR DG confirmed that there is no organised terrorist infrastructure in Pakistan following conclusion of security operations by the military.
Earlier, National Security Adviser Dr Moeed Yusuf presented a grim picture of the Afghan situation, warning that the negative fallout of the civil war in the neighbouring country may result in the Taliban fighters slipping into Pakistan as refugees.
As Nato has almost withdrawn from the war-torn country, the Taliban have made rapid inroads capturing districts after districts even in areas which were previously not their strongholds. The insurgent group has also overrun areas bordering Pakistan, Iran, China, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan.
In tribal areas and Balochistan, over 7,000 security operations were conducted since May 1, 2021 in which 42 terrorists were killed and many soldiers martyred and sustained injuries, he added.
“Pakistan Army is ready to exterminate all threats to national peace and security. We are after them aggressively and they are on the run and in such aggressive posture you bear casualties. Our officers are leading the operations from the front and we would not let them take any respite,” Maj-Gen Iftikhar said.
The chief military spokesperson also highlighted the sacrifices made by the country in its fight against terrorism, saying over 86,000 innocent Pakistanis lost their lives in the ‘War on Terror’ and the country also suffered $152 billion dollars economic losses.
The security forces conducted over 1,300 security operations, and cleared over 46,000 sq km area from the terrorist control and some 18,000 militants were killed in them, said the spokesperson, adding that tonnes of explosives were also confiscated in various operations.
“The world has acknowledged the constructive role of Pakistan in the regional peace and stability,” he maintained.
The operation Radd-ul-Fasaad’s vision was to restore the writ of the state with the vision that use of power should be the prerogative of the state, he said, adding that army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa made all-out efforts to eliminate root of terrorism from the country.
‘India biggest spoiler of peace’
Maj-Gen Iftikhar said India had great influence in Afghanistan which it used to fund terror groups with an aim to destabilise Pakistan.
“We had also presented dossier in November 2020 and gave [international community] evidence of Indian terrorism and nefarious designs against Pakistan,” he said.
He went on to say that there were training camps of RAW in Afghanistan that India used to unite all splinter anti-Pakistan groups. “India is the biggest spoiler in the region,” the spokesperson remarked.
Responding to the recent statement of Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh who alleged that Pakistan Air Force (PAF) was supporting the Afghan Taliban, he said, “Absolutely a false statement and I confirm that there are no such measures taken by Pakistan Air Force. The Afghan Air Force is operating on their side and no such activity done by Pakistan Air Force. I will only deny this statement.”
The ISPR chief told that recently 40 Afghan army soldiers crossed into Pakistan’s side in Bajaur after their clashes with the Taliban. “We gave them a soldierly protocol with food, gifts and handed over to Afghan forces.”