Powerful journalism on tap - Download The Kashmir Monitor app.

No space for war with India: Pak Army

Islamabad, Jun 04: Pakistan Army Monday said that there was no space for any war with India but warned that its desire for peace should not be mistaken for weakness.

Addressing a press conference, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the media wing of the army, accused India of carrying out 1,077 ceasefire violations since the start of 2018 to date.

 

“Our defence, our desire for peace, should not be mistaken for weakness,” Ghafoor said.

He said Pakistan had not responded to Indian firing, which followed an agreement by the two countries’ militaries last week to adhere to the 2003 ceasefire agreement, but was “compelled” to respond only when civilians were targeted, Dawn reported.

Local administration officials said an elderly woman and a minor girl were killed and 24 others, including four children and eight women, injured in mortar shelling by the Indian forces on villages along the Working Boundary on Monday.

Ghafoor said Pakistan wants to respect the truce agreement.

“The Indians have to realise and understand where they want to go (in the future),” he said. “We are two nuclear powers, and there is no space for war,” he added.

Commenting on a cross-border firing incident that occurred after the agreement was reached, Ghafoor said that Pakistan would not have responded to Indian firing, but was “compelled” to do so only because civilians were targeted and there were casualties on the Pakistani side.

He also complimented the Pakistani media on showing responsibility on the matter and not inciting provocation, adding that Pakistan wants to respect the truce agreement.

“We are willing to ignore the first shot that is fired from the Indian side, provided it does not result in a casualty on our side,” he said. However, the second shot would be responded in kind, he said.

“The Indians have to realise and understand where they want to go [in the future],” he said. “We are two nuclear powers and there is no space for war.”

Addressing the matter of retired Pakistan spymaster Asad Durrani’s controversial book, Ghafoor assured that an inquiry was ongoing and whatever came of it would be shared with the media.

He also noted that Durrani’s book referred to incidents that took place after the former DG ISI’s tenure.

“He has only offered his opinion on them,” he noted, later adding that had the former spymaster asked for a no-objection certificate from the army, the matter would never have arisen.

He added that the reason the forces reacted so sharply to Durrani’s book was because of his post at the time of his retirement.

“Pakistan Army has never forgiven any mistake, whether made by a soldier or a general,” he said.

He also recalled Durrani’s dismissal from service, saying that who he was as a person was not the army’s concern, but who he had been as part of the institution necessitated a review of his actions.