There can be no talks with rioters, anarchists Says ISPR DG

By Muhammad JuniadPublished On 08 May 2024

The chief of the military's publicity wing said on Tuesday that the violent incidents of May 9 were not only an attack on the Pakistan Army, but on the entire population. If the justice system is to be maintained, the culprits involved in those incidents will have to be brought to justice. 

ISPR Director General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a press conference that people and the armed forces saw the events of May 9 for themselves. "Everyone saw how people were brainwashed through false propaganda," he remarked. 

May 9 incident

The ISPR claimed that people were given targets to carry out attacks, and in a few hours, military installations were attacked across the country. "After May 9, people stepped away from the anarchist group. Lies and deception can no longer go on," he asserted. 

The ISPR chief said innocent children were brainwashed and incited to violence, adding that the country's army, martyrs, property were set ablaze. He said it is suggested that a judicial commission should be formed, adding that these commissions are formed where there is ambiguity. “Form a judicial commission and get to the bottom of the incident,” he asserted.

The attack on PTV should also be covered, and it should be investigated how people were made to stand against the state, the ISPR chief said, recalling that Islamabad was attacked in 2022 and any judicial commission should also cover all these matters, including how letters were written to the IMF to not sign a deal with Pakistan.

“The attack on parliament should also be covered,” he proposed, while adding that through May 9, an attempt was made to create hatred between the people and the army.

However, he believed, the people with a conscience distanced themselves from the actions of the "anarchists”. 

If the culprits of May 9 incidents were not punished, nobody’s life and property will be safe, the ISPR chief said.

Furthermore, he said Article 19 was clear that national security cannot be attacked, adding that the Constitution of Pakistan did not allow propaganda against the state. “Are we waiting for another tragedy like May 9” he questioned, stressing that national integrity could not be allowed to be compromised.

“No one can be allowed to hide behind the garb of freedom of expression,” he declared, hoping that the legislature will enact legislation related to freedom of expression.

“Action should be taken against agitation, lies, propaganda. If action is not taken, it will shake the foundations of society,” the ISPR DG stressed, adding that distrust among society is gradually decreasing and people are realizing who is telling lies.

He further remarked that there was no point of forming a judicial commission on the May 9 incidents. “If it has to be formed, it should bring out the truth.” 

“Punish the perpetrators of May 9 and move on,” he insisted. 

Furthermore, he said false propaganda was done on the Bahawalnagar incident, adding that the Punjab government initiated a joint investigation on the incident. “The role of the police in the war against terrorism is important. The police rendered great sacrifices against terrorism,” the ISPR chief asserted, adding that the security agencies and police officers resolved the matter immediately. 

General elections

About the February 8 general elections, the military’s spokesman said the turnout on the day was around 47% and 65 million people cast their votes. He further claimed that only 7.5% of the population cast votes for a specific political party, stressing that 92% of the people did not agree with the party’s ideology.

“The Pakistan Army is the most trusted organization,” he stressed, adding that false narratives can be created and they will stand with the truth. 

Maj Gen Chaudhry said the institution did not hold any particular political thought, adding that it respected all parties representing the people. “There will be no talks with those who mock the martyrs. The political anarchist group should sincerely apologize to the public,” he demanded, adding that there can be no negotiations with the rioting, anarchist group.

He further claimed that there was no interference from the army in the general elections, adding that a false narrative was created about the army's interference and demanded proof of these allegations. 

Accountability within army

The ISPR chief also said that there was an integrated system for the welfare of soldiers, adding that the Pakistan Army has submitted Rs100 billion in taxes and its subordinate departments Rs260 billion.

“The Fauji Foundation has deposited Rs223 billion in the national treasury, DHA has deposited Rs23 billion, and the NLC Rs3.5 billion,” he explained, remarking that those criticizing the army themselves prefer to reside in DHA.

He further explained that the army's role in the SIFC is only that of facilitation. “Our job is to support the authorities, not to replace them,” ISPR DG claimed, adding that governments around the world use their military capabilities, and many governments have used the military for economic projects.

“Anti-army narratives are spread through false propaganda,” he insisted, adding that there is a transparent and strict process of self-accountability in the Pakistan Army that is initiated as soon as a violation takes place.

“Our accountability system works on facts, not allegations,” he maintained, adding that the matter of the high court judges was being heard in the Supreme Court. “There is no point in dragging the forces into political matters."

He also remarked that while the Pakistan Army had completed its accountability process, those involved in carrying out and facilitating the May 9 incidents could not be held accountable. 

Fighting terrorism

Pakistan has fought a long war against terrorism, which is still going on. The country is trying wholeheartedly to maintain peace in the region, said the chief of the military's publicity wing on Tuesday.

ISPR Director General Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said in a press conference that Pakistan has been helping Afghan refugees for a long time, adding that TTP terrorists operate in Pakistan using the territory of Afghanistan. He maintained that there was evidence of terrorism in Pakistan perpetrated by TTP terrorists. 

"The clues of recent terrorist incidents can be traced back to the terrorists in Afghanistan," he asserted, adding that the agreement made by the Afghan government in Doha does not seem to have been implemented so far. 

"We will go to all possible extents to suppress the terrorists and their facilitators," the ISPR chief stressed. 

He further said that the decision to repatriate the foreign citizens residing illegally in Pakistan was made in the interest of the country, adding that millions of Afghan citizens were still living in Pakistan. 

"Terrorists are trying to disrupt peace in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," the ISPR chief stated, adding that on March 16, a check post was attacked in North Waziristan wherein soldiers were martyred. He also declared that, in response, terrorist hideouts were targeted in the border areas inside Afghanistan. 

Moreover, on March 20, an attack on the Gwadar Port Authority was foiled, Maj Gen Chaudhry said, adding that the attacks were planned in Afghanistan. The terrorists and their facilitators were being controlled from Afghanistan, he said, claiming that the suicide bomber was also an Afghan citizen. 

He further said the terrorist killed in the North Waziristan attack, identified as Habibullah, was also a resident of Afghanistan's Spin Boldak. "The latest wave of terrorism in Pakistan is the result of supply of facilities and arms to the TTP from Afghanistan,"
he maintained.

The ISPR chief highlighted that army chief Gen Asim Munir has said there is no place for terrorists in Pakistan, adding that the involvement of Afghan citizens in terrorism in Pakistan is a deviation from the Doha Agreement of the interim Afghan government. 

"We will leave no stone unturned to destroy the network of terrorists," he stressed, further adding that several terrorists were killed in the border area of Iran. 

Foreign relations

Furthermore, Pakistan did not use the Afghan transit trade for political purposes, adding that the country never used trade for politics. “We cannot allow the smuggling of drugs and weapons or entry of terrorists under the guise of trade.

He further remarked that it was wrong to spoil the country’s relations with friendly countries in the garb of freedom of expression. “These people do not want Pakistan to stand on its own feet,” Maj Gan Chaudhry claimed, adding that the government built a fence on the extremely difficult Afghan border through its own resources.

He further said that a few days ago, seven terrorists who cut through the fence were killed, adding that the facilitation of terrorists was increasing in Afghanistan. “Border management is two-sided. Preventing illegal activities is a bilateral responsibility. The Afghan border should be made a normal border,” he suggested. 

India, eastern border

Talking about India, the ISPR chief said there were constant threats on the eastern border, adding that India was planning to divert attention from its internal turmoil. “The top military leadership is aware of Indian plans. Constituencies of India-held Kashmir were also altered, but Pakistan will continue to provide political, legal, diplomatic and moral support to the Kashmiris,” he declared.

India is also involved in target killing of Sikhs, Maj Gen Chaudhry added.