India is on a path of religious extremism: DG ISPR

Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar addressed an important press conference in Rawalpindi on Wednesday to review the foremost developments in the security domain in the past year.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that he will be going over issues pertaining to Pakistan’s eastern border, western border, landmark achievements of Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad, and will take questions, if any, at the end.

Besides speaking on the aforementioned areas of concern, the DG ISPR also addressed rumours of a “deal” with former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who has been declared an absconder and is currently residing in London.

“Talk of a deal with Nawaz Sharif is baseless,” he said.

“Who is striking a deal with Nawaz Sharif?” he asked the reporters, also demanding they furnish proof if there is any.

“If someone does talk of a deal, then you must ask them who is offering a deal,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said.

He also maintained that there is no trouble afoot when it comes to civil-military relations and urged the media to “keep the establishment out of it”.

The DG ISPR began his briefing with the eastern border, saying that under the ceasefire agreement reached with India in February last year, the Line of Control (LoC) “remained peaceful throughout the year”.

“The biggest dividend is that the people who live around the area, have seen a definite improvement in their daily lives.

“But alongside this, the false accusations and the propaganda by the Indian leadership that has continued points towards a particular political agenda,” he said.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said the fundamental purpose of this is to draw away the attention of the international community from the “systematic demographic changes” India is implementing in occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

He noted that on the one hand India is on a path of religious extremism, which the whole word is aware of now, and on the other, it has endangered the entire region’s security with its “never ending series of defence procurement”.

The DG ISPR said that this will not only shift the balance of traditional warfare, but will lead to an arms race in the region, which will have a severe and negative impact on peace.

At the LoC, India’s security mechanism, including the anti-infiltration grid, and with it the false propaganda of infiltration is laughable and raises questions regarding their own security mechanism, he said.

“Recently, the Indian army staged a fake encounter in Kirin sector which is front of Neelum Valley, and in the name of countering infiltration, martyred an innocent Kashmiri, and then blamed Pakistan for it,” he said.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that the photos circulated by Indian media of the alleged terrorist named Shabbir, is not only alive but is present at home in the Azad Kashmir area of Sharda.

Noting that India has martyred several Kashmiris before this around the LoC area, he said that the truth is that it has already tried to externalise Kashmir’s indigenous freedom struggle.

But now, voices have begun to reverberate throughout India, occupied Kashmir and the entire world that Indian armed forces are targeting innocent Kashmiris in the name of counter terrorism and are trying to illegally crush their completely legitimate and indigenous freedom struggle, Maj Gen Iftikhar said.

He said in Kashmir the worst siege in human history has been going on since August 2019.

Speaking of The Russell Tribunal on Kashmir, which was held in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Hercegovina, between December 17-19, 2021, he said that it’s findings are “eye-opening”.

He said that 15 international judges and experts took part in the tribunal, which focused on four areas, namely genocide, decolonisation, secular colonialism and war crimes against Kashmiris.

He went on to say that the participants made special mention of reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch which recorded instances of human rights violations by India and how Indian armed forces have been waging a military, political, economic, social, and cultural war against Kashmiris, and how they are violating the Geneva Convention and other international laws.

Maj Gen Iftikhar said today, January 5, marks an important day, as it was on this day in 1949 that the people of Kashmir were promised the right to self-determination by the United Nations.

“That promise remains unfulfilled,” he said, adding: “We salute the everlasting struggle, and their unparalleled sacrifices and courage of the Kashmiri people.”

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