Power struggle on in Afghanistan, says ISPR chief
JEDDAH: Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Shaukat Sultan has said that struggle for power, not Jihad, has been going on in Afghanistan since 1988. He was addressing the Pakistan Journalists Forum after performing Umrah.
He said that after end to the Soviet Union’s invasion to Afghanistan, the Afghans lapsed into a civil war. He said that Pakistan not only recognised the Taliban regime but also recognised the governments of Rabbani, Dawood and Taraki in Afghanistan to establish good bilateral relations. He said that recognition of these governments, however, did not imply that Pakistan was espousing their policies as well.
The ISPR DG said that the tribal areas were part of Pakistan and foreigners taking shelter there was illegal. He said that political parties were presenting false pictures that suited their interests, but it was against the national interest.
He said that Pakistan had never supported extremism and nor would it allow any one to use its soil for terrorist activities. He said that following the end of the Afghan war, peace and normalcy prevailed in northern areas, including Orakzai Agency, Mohmand Agency, Kurrum Agency and Khyber Agency. Mr Sultan said the tribesmen never sheltered any alien.
He said terrorists had only holed up in Wana. He said those who did not support these foreign militants were killed or forced to join hands with the aliens under coercion.
He said the government held talks with Nek Muhammad and handed over a list of wanted terrorists so that the matter could be resolved through negotiations but Nek Muhammad handed over 50 foreign militants to the government who were not included in the list. He said a military operation was launched in Wana when a deadline followed by an extension did not bring about the desired results. He said that the government did not have any assistance from any other country during this operation.
Mr Sultan said that the terrorists who were killed or captured during this campaign belonged to the AlQaeda network. He said that Pakistan had no plans to send troops to Iraq unless such a demand came from the United Nation or the people of Iraq.
He said that according to the Karachi Accord, the fence on the Line of Control (LoC) constructed by India was illegal. He said that Pakistan would not rollback its nuclear program and the missile tests were testimony to that fact. online