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DG ISPR Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar addresses press conference in Rawalpindi

Rawalpindi, JAN 5: Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar is currently addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi.

The press conference, Maj Gen Iftikhar’s first of the year 2022, comes as the world observes the Right to Self-Determination Day of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar began the press conference by recalling Indian forces’ atrocities in occupied Kashmir as well as “propaganda” campaigns by their media.

“The ceasefire agreement that was signed with India … the biggest dividend was that the locals that live there, it improved their lives,” he said.

“At the same time, the blame from the Indian military leadership and false propaganda points to a specific agenda to remove attention from the atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

The DG ISPR accused India of putting the region’s peace at stake through its defence procurement. “It will have negative effects on peace. On the Line of Control, they have committed false propaganda about infiltration,” he said.

“They recently staged a fake encounter in Neelum Valley in Kirin sector and killed an innocent Kashmiri and then blamed us. In this particular incident, the Indian media ran pictures of a terrorist named Shabbir. He is not only alive but is at his home in Sharda.

“India has killed countless innocent people. The reality is that India wants to externalise the indigenous freedom struggle of the Kashmiris. But voices are coming from everywhere that the people are being targeted and their struggle is being stamped out.”

“On January 5, 1989, the people of Kashmir were promised the right to self-determination by the UN. That promise remains unfulfilled. On this occasion, we salute their (Kashmiri people’s) bravery.”

Pak-Afghan border fencing will protect people, not divide them

The DG ISPR then discussed issues related to the Pak-Afghan border, including its fencing, which he said was being to protect people and not divide them.

“During 2021, on the western border, the security situation was challenging,” Maj Gen Babar said. “The western border management, specifically the Pak-Afghan border … there were some specific local dynamics and these are [being] addressed at the relevant level.

The DG ISPR said that the Pak-Afghan border fencing was “94 per cent complete”, adding: “We are totally focused, and under the western border management regime, the work that is underway will be completed in some time.”

“The fence on the Pak-Afghan border is needed to regulate security, border crossing and trade. The purpose of this is not to divide but to protect them.”

“People can cross border from designated points,” he explained, adding: “This process will be eased in coming months. The blood of our martyrs was spilled in fencing of the border. It is a fence of peace. It will be completed and remain.”

The DG ISPR deemed the recent uprooting of the fence by Taliban fighters as “one or two localised problems”, which he said is being discussed by the governments of both the countries.

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