Terrorists have no base in Pakistan to fall back on: ISPR

Published: February 15, 2016



Terrorist groups don’t have a base in Pakistan to fall back on, according to the chief military spokesperson, who also said that sporadic attacks by frustrated terrorists could not dent the military’s resolve to eliminate the malady once and for all.

“We have seen how the rate of terrorist incidents declined during the past one and a half years, and how it brought dividends to the entire nation,” Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa, the director general of the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview.

All terrorist groups working in collusion to launch attacks: Bajwa

The recent uptick in terrorist violence in the country came after a long hiatus, triggering a media guessing game about the effectiveness of the new national strategy against terrorism and extremism.

Lt Gen Bajwa, however, said the military has the upper hand in the fight against terrorism since the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb in mid-June, 2014. “We have dislodged them [terrorists] from their sanctuaries, from their bases, from where they carried out things without any hindrance. Their sanctuaries have been destroyed.”

He cautioned that terrorists would continue to find loopholes in the system. “Whenever we get these terrorists, we have seen they may use facilitators in society.”

Asked about an impression in the Western world that Pakistan pursues a nexus with terrorism despite the fact the country has rendered unmatchable sacrifices in the war against terrorism, the military spokesperson said it would be regrettable if someone levelled such wild allegations.

Attackers handled from Afghanistan: ISPR

“This [such allegations] is absolutely unjustified and absolutely unfair. About some [terrorist] organisations still present here, I would say a strategic direction has been taken to eliminate terrorism without any discrimination,” he added.

He added that the people of Pakistan have sacrificed the most in the war against terrorism. “There is an acknowledgement here. There is also an acknowledgement when we go abroad and meet people,” he said. “Everyone who comes to Pakistan acknowledges our successes,” he added. “The world needs to study our model and learn a lot.”

Lt Gen Bajwa said the Pakistani nation and security forces would fight terrorism in the country but the world should realise that terrorism is a global threat and it needs a global response.

“All that we need now is the support of the entire world in our endevours. And we are absolutely convinced we are heading in the right direction. We want a terror- and extremism-free Pakistan and for that we need the world’s help,” he said.

The military spokesperson said those who had a role in the creation of the monster of terrorism should help Pakistan eliminate it. “This monster was created by everyone together. We are fighting it and we expect the whole world to stand by us and help us in eliminating this monster.”

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He was asked did the Western nations and previous Pakistani governments shared the blame for creating the ‘jihadi’ groups who later turned on Pakistan and the West.

Since the establishment of military courts, scores of have been convicted and hanged, triggering criticism from some rights groups and Western nations. “People just want terrorism to end in Pakistan. Now this death penalty, we have seen that it has brought dividends because it is only hardcore terrorists who are being presented before the military courts,” he said.

“Pakistan respects civil liberties as we are living in a healthy society and an evolving society, and there is the state which is taking care of all these things,” he added. “All the cases have been referred through a mechanism from the provincial governments and the federal government to the military courts. They have been tried through a fair and due process of law and they have been given sentences.”

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th,  2016.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Iqbal Afghan
    Feb 15, 2016 - 9:33AM

    But Good Taliban organization is still present there. What you have to say about that ?Recommend

  • Last Word
    Feb 15, 2016 - 10:13AM

    “The world needs to study our model and learn a lot”.
    I don’t think the rest of the world will agree with this statement since Pakistan firstly created these monsters for using them against neighbours for political and strategic purposes. Once these Frankenstein started attacking their mentors and the state, action was taken to eliminate only those who attacked the state but the rest were spared to continue their activities against neighbours.Such a misplaced policy does not qualify as a model to fight terrorism in all probabilities will prove counter-productive for Pakistan both at home and neighbours as well. Recommend

  • Afrooz
    Feb 15, 2016 - 10:21AM

    The Laal Masjid called. They want to know when to stop laughing. Recommend

  • Xnain
    Feb 15, 2016 - 11:21AM

    @Iqbal Afghan:
    Unless you consider Kunar as also a part of Pakistan, yes you’d be correct.Recommend

  • Default
    Feb 15, 2016 - 1:43PM

    Pakistan has 55 billion dollars in debt coming due in a worsening debt payment scheme. It is destroying itself very quickly to destroy Afghanistan. Steategic assets have cost Pakistan almost as many billions as the war has cost the U.S. Not very strategic.Recommend

  • Asim Ali
    Feb 15, 2016 - 2:51PM

    Nobody wants to learn from us. From Iqbal we are now following extremism. And no one in their right minds want to deal with extremism. Its a good thing visas are open for immigrating or studying in the West, because the West needs our well bred youth who have done outstandingly well in a wide variety of fields. And they have absolutely no desire in returning to a country which has deviated from the vision of Iqbal and the Quaid.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Feb 15, 2016 - 3:04PM

    “The world needs to study our model and learn a lot”.

    The recipe is to wear the battle dress and live in on well guarded Forts or garrison towns which the Brits used successfully as well.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Confused
    Feb 15, 2016 - 5:42PM

    They have a Base in Islamabad named Jamia Hafsa.Recommend

  • Farishta
    Feb 15, 2016 - 7:29PM

    What has he been smokin! First they nurture them and then try to eliminate them! There is a solid base in Pakistan for these elements, when religion becomes the part of your daily rituals the base can never be elemented.Recommend

  • curious2
    Feb 15, 2016 - 9:12PM

    How about allowing reporters in the Waziristan’s so they can provide independent reporting on Pakistan’s Civil War and how much real progress has been made against the Taliban?Recommend

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