Pakistan and India are two nuclear powers and there is no space for war between the two countries, military spokesperson Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar said on Thursday in his first-ever public briefing to the media.

Addressing a press conference at General Headquarters, the new military spokesperson sad India is playing “dangerous games” at the Line of Control (LoC) to divert attention from internal issues, but Pakistan Army stands ready to respond to any misadventure.

This was Maj Gen Iftikhar’s first media briefing since he took charge of the office on February 1, 2020. He was appointed chief of the military’s media wing last month as Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor completed his term.

Iftikhar said, “whenever the country has faced difficult times, the armed forces and the people have faced them bravely.”

“February 27 is a bright day in the history of Pakistan,” Maj Gen Iftikhar said, referring to the downing of two Indian fighter jets on this day last year.

“Whether there are internal or external dangers, we are ready. The military is aware of our enemy’s covert operations,” he said.

On a question about Indian military leaders’ recent threats, the DG said “Pakistan is keeping an eye on the Indian military’s preparedness.”

“Our core capability is 100% ready. If India ever tried [to start a war] we will be ready for them,” he said.

Kashmir is an international issue now

Speaking on the Kashmir situation, Gen Iftikhar said the issue has been internationalised as India’s actions on August 5, 2019 made the situation worse in the territory.

“Life has come to a halt in the region. There is a communication lock-down. This is not a regional issue between the two [countries any longer]; it is one of the biggest humanitarian issues [in the world today].”

“International media, human rights organisations have condemned the move.”

“The UN chief has also called for an end to the human rights violations,” he recalled.

He added, “our country’s leadership has done its best to highlight the issue. Pakistan is standing with the Kashmiri people.”

‘From terrorism to tourism’

The military’s spokesperson further said that for the last 20 years, Pakistan Army and other law enforcing agencies have successfully waged a war against terrorism.

“We are the only country who has fought terrorism and played our part against [the menace]. We have conducted numerous operations and successfully demolished terrorist centres and taken explosive material into custody.”

“More than 1,000 members of Al-Qaeda have been killed in the operations,” he added.

DG Ifthikar further said that operation Radd-ul-Fasd, which completed three years recently, has played an important part and helped in the elimination of terrorism from the country.

“Pakistan’s role against terrorism has been hailed by the international community, including the United Nations,” he said. “As a result of this, this country has gone from a state of terrorism to tourism.”

Coronavirus

When asked about the army’s role in combating the coronavirus, the military spokesperson said the army was ready to play its part if called to action.

“So far, there have been only two reported cases of coronavirus in the country. This means that we have taken all the preventive measures that were needed to be taken,” he said.

“Pakistan Army is ready to help out when the government asks us. Any meeting or conference that has taken place regarding coronavirus, a military representative has been a part of it. If called to action, we will respond to that, he added.

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