TTP using Afghan soil against Pakistan: DG ISPR

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Maj-Gen Ahmed Sharif is addressing a press conference.

Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry Tuesday shared that Pakistan "irrefutable evidence" of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) using Afghanistan against the country.

"There is irrefutable evidence of Afghan soil being used by the TTP [...] recent terrorist incidents can be traced back to Afghanistan, " the military's spokesperson said while addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.

Reaffirming the commitment on counter-terrorism efforts, Maj Gen Chaudhry said that Pakistan will leave no stone un-turned to eliminate the terrorist network.

He stressed that the security forces would go to any extent possible against terrorists. However, the spokesperson noted that the first priority of the Pakistan Army was to maintain law and order in the country.

"The army chief has said that there's no place for terrorists in Pakistan," the general said while reassuring that steps are being taken to bring the miscreants to justice.

He said the plot that killed five Chinese engineers in an attack on a convoy in Bisham tehsil of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Shangla on March 26 was hatched in Afghanistan.

“A sad incident took place on March 2 in Bisham where a suicide bomber targeted a car of Chinese engineers working on Dasu dam, as a result of which, five Chinese citizens and a Pakistan got killed.

“This suicide bombing also connects to across the border [in Afghanistan]; the planning of this terrorism [act] was done in Afghanistan. Terrorists and their facilitators were also being controlled from Afghanistan and the suicide bomber was also an Afghan [national].”

Gen Sharif said the army strongly condemned “this ugly game of terrorism” and is “taking all necessary actions to bring its facilitators to justice.”

On the issue of Afghan refugees living inside Pakistan, the military's spokesperson said: "Millions of Afghans are still living in Pakistan, while the country is fighting against terrorism. Pakistan has helped Afghan refugees, which the world has recognised."

Highlighting that millions of Afghan citizens continue to reside in Pakistan, the general revealed that more than 563,000 Afghans have been repatriated.

The DG ISPR said the law and order situation was deteriorating because of the Afghan citizens.

"Militants are spoiling law and order situation in Balochistan, but the army is [acting as] a wall against the miscreants," he noted.

On May 9 riots, DG ISPR said that the planners of the May 9 riots should be punished as per the constitution and the law of the land.

He added that unavoidable evidence of the May 9 riots is available. The attacks on the army’s installations that took place within hours on May 9 were recorded on the CCTV cameras.

Videos of political leaders directing the rioters on May 9 are also available.

May 9 riots were used to create a rift between the masses and the Pakistan Armed Forces. A group tried to deviate masses under the name of False Flag Operation, he said.

Responding to a question regarding the judicial commission, the DG ISPR said the commission is formed to probe a matter when there is doubt. Everything is crystal clear about the May 9 riots, he added.

Commenting on the prospects of dialogue with any faction, Maj Gen Chaudhry said: “No talks will be held with any political leader, or group which attacks its own army and indulges in propaganda [against them]”.

“There can be no dialogue with an anarchist group,” he noted adding that the “only way forward for the anarchists [group] is to apologise sincerely, abandon the politics of hate and indulge in constructive politics [instead]”.

“Talks are for political parties, not institutions,” the army’s spokesperson

Responding to another question, DG ISPR said the party only gained 31 per cent of votes in the February 8 elections. He also rejected the impression those who voted for the party in general elections endorsed the May 9 attacks.