Islamabad, October 7: Pakistan military has admitted that its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has links with militants. However, they claimed that these links shouldn't be looked at as the military's support for terrorism.
“Links can be positive, and he [US Defence Secretary James Mattis] did not say there was support, so the narrative against Pakistan's army and intelligence agencies that I talked about is relevant here as well. We should not be a part of it. We have our own narrative," Maj Gen said.
During the briefing, Maj Gen Ghafoor discussed the security threats at Pakistan's eastern and western borders, stressing that the important question was "whether the threat is because of a state or non-state actors" and what the country's response to it has been.
"There has been war in Afghanistan for the past four decades. We fought with the jihadis against the Soviet Union. We have fought well, as a nation, the war that entered our borders after 9/11," he said, apparently underscoring a recent statement made by the foreign minister recalling the US's "wining and dining" of jihadi outfits during the Afghan-Soviet Union war.
"There are no organised bases of any terrorist organisation in the country anymore," Ghafoor stressed. "On the ground, more than 50 per cent of Afghan territory is out of their control, which is also affecting Pakistan," he said, shifting the focus to the political instability afflicting Pakistan's western neighbour.
"Our western border also meets Iran. It is important to mention that our deployment is not against Iran or Afghanistan, but against non-state actors," he explained.
"In the east, we have a border with India which is unsafe because of India's inappropriate actions. The ceasefire violations in 2017 are considerably more in number than any other year before this, with 222 civilian casualties along the Line of Control," he said.
"Threats from India are perpetual. We are a peaceful country and we do not want war with them, but we will defend ourselves and have the capability to do so," Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor asserted.