Asif Ghafoor briefs Parliamentarians and students about regional situation

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Says peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan interlinked,
Kashmir core issue in trust deficit relations with India

 Nations special report
LONDON: During his two-day interaction campaign, Pakistan Military spokesman Major Gen Asif Ghafoor held a meeting with British Parliamentarians at the House of Commons (Parliament House) in London on Tuesday and briefed them security and geo-political situation in the region. A number of cross party legislators representing both houses of the Parliament participated in the meeting held at a Committee Room and raised the questions after his speech.

Asif Ghafoor furnished details of former and ongoing operation against the terrorists in Pakistan and said that until Pakistan’s eastern and western borders would not safe and free from militants and terrorists, the menace of military and terrorism would not come to an end.

Lord Nazir Ahmed, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and PHC diplomats were prominent among the participants. “Pakistan is suffering lots due to infiltrators who cross the border from Afghanistan and create law & order situation in our areas. We have raised this crucial issue on many occasions with the Afghan governments from time to time”, he claimed.

“Pakistan’s borders in east and west are not safe and the basic reason for that volatile situation is trust deficit and strained relations with India and Afghanistan. Infiltration, border crossing, Taliban and other militants are basic reason of doubtful relations with Afghanistan whereas Kashmir is core issue between India and Pakistan. But despite all hurdles, Pakistan is determined to deal with any odd situation”, he explained.

Earlier, in the morning, Asif Ghafoor addressed the students at Warwick University (Coventry). Giving brief them, he said peace can’t be established in the region and the world without the cooperation and help from Pakistan. “Peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan is inter-linked and without acknowledging this fact, the concept of peace and stability in the region would never be materialised”.

Asif Ghafoor went on to say that without the support from Pakistan, Al-Qaeda would have not been defeated. So the world should be thankful to Pakistan for eliminating terrorism. “We want US presence in Afghanistan until peace is established there. Attackers on Malala Yousufzai were those who were against the education for women”, he referred.

The DGISPR said that Pakistan is positively relevant to the Geo-political and Geo-economic pursuits of the world powers in the region. “The future of the region and the globe is not without Pakistan, we have a potentially rich economy, we are bestowed with great resources, majority of today’s Pakistani of our population is youth,” he said.

Referring the Kashmir, Asif Ghafoor said that Kashmir is the mother of all disputes and Pakistan will never compromise on the rights of Kashmiri people and will continue to offer moral support. He said that war is never without a cost and this is paid both by the security forces as well as the local population. “Military operations alone cannot bring peace, it has to be followed up by development pronged strategies,” he said.

On FATA and KPK issues, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that demands of the Pahstoon Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) are genuine and there are genuine issues in the FATA. He said that Pakistani government is doing lots of work in the FATA and areas of KP to carry out the development work with help from the local people.

General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistani students, no matter where they are in the world should be proud for the sacrifices and contributions their country has made to the world.  “Pakistan will reach its true destination when Pakistani youth are empowered.” He also asked students to come to Pakistan after completing their studies and play their role. “Following Pakistan Army’s operations, we have successfully stopped the terrorists’ attacks,” he claimed.