Amid the controversy of by-polls and the upcoming Senate elections, DG ISPR Lt Gen Asif Ghafoor addressed yet another press conference on 22 February 2021 in which he answered a range of questions from politics to the rumours about the appointment of a new chief of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) to replace Lt Gen Faiz Hamid. The main points from the presser are as follows:
On the chief of ISI: Talking about the reports on social media about the replacement of the chief of ISI he underlined that these are baseless speculations requesting that speculations be avoided on such issues. He informed that appointments in the army, especially on the senior level are tenure-based and that the tenure of the head of an institution usually lasted two years.
On PDM: earlier too the DG ISPR has underlined that there are no backdoor communications with the PDM and asked opposition leaders talking about it to bring proof. PDM by appointing Yusuf Raza Gillani of the PPP for Senate elections from Islamabad is trying to create another hype that the establishment is supporting Gillani, which is wrong. DG ISPR again said that the civilian government and the army were on the same page and working together.
On Raddul Fasaad: the ISPR chief briefed reporters about achievements in counter-terrorism measures taken by the forces in recent times. Giving an overview of the dividends earned through Operation Raddul Fasaad, which was launched on February 22 (today) four years ago, the DG ISPR said this operation was not area-specific and its domain extended to the entire country. He said Pakistan’s “grand strategy” in its war against terrorism was based on four concepts: “Clear, hold, build and transfer.”
Indian dossier: the international community had responded “very positively” to the dossier made public by Islamabad of Indian sponsorship of terrorism in Pakistan and that “it has been taken seriously at every forum.” He noted that many international organisations had lately issued statements and documents that proved that the dossier was being taken seriously.
FATF: Asked about the FATF plenary beginning today in which a decision about keeping or removing Pakistan from its ‘grey list‘ will be taken, the DG ISPR said the watchdog worked according to a procedure. He said Pakistan had done a lot of work to meet the FATF recommendations and its progress was acknowledged at every forum.