RAWALPINDI - Pakistan on Wednesday said that India is sowing seeds of war with its actions in the Occupied Kashmir and vowed that it will go to any length in support of the Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for right to self-determination.

Addressing a news conference here, Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate Major General Asif Ghafoor emphatically stated that Pakistan will continue standing by the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) till the last bullet, last solider and last breath.

“I want to give this message to Kashmiris that we stand by you and will continue to do so. It is sad that your independence struggle was labelled as terrorism,” he said.

DG ISPR said that Kashmir is the jugular vein of Pakistan as declared by Quaid-e-Azam, and there will be no compromise on the Kashmir cause. “We will go to any length to protect it (our jugular


He also made it clear that Pakistan will respond with full force if India carried out any false flag operation along the Line of Control. He said the situation prevailing in the occupied Kashmir has become a threat to peace and stability in the region.

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“Our economy is not too weak to fight a war. To extend help to our Kashmiri brethren, we will not look at our pockets,” he said in an unwavering tone.

Asif Ghafoor expressed the confidence that the people of Kashmir will sooner than later achieve the goal of independence. He said resolution of Kashmir issue is in Pakistan’s national interest and it will never accept any solution which does not guarantee Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.

Regional situation

Explaining geostrategic milieu, DG ISPR said the world powers have economic interests in the region and Pakistan is very much relevant in this global power contestation. He said that China has issues with India but still their economic relations with India are stable.

He further said that Afghanistan has seen nothing but war, and loss of lives. He said Pakistan has been making efforts for peace in Afghanistan, and it has a critical role in the ongoing Afghan peace process.

Asif Ghafoor was of the view that Pakistan has good relations with Iran but due to the situation in the Middle East, Iran is facing some problems. However, he said that Iran has a huge role in regional peace.



Modi’s negative policies

He said Modi regime has turned the face of secular India into a fascist, intolerant and extremist country through the acts of barbarianism in occupied Kashmir. “India is a country with a huge population, a follower of Hitler is in power [there],” he said and added there is no religious or social freedom there.

He was of the view that Kashmir has become the biggest issue of human rights violations, and the world powers have a role to play to resolve the dispute under the UN resolutions.

DG ISPR pointed out that the held territory has been under curfew for a month and there is total blackout in the valley with no communication facilities. He said India attempted to change demography of IOK through an unconstitutional step. He recalled that there are United Nations resolutions on the Kashmir issue.

Asif Ghafoor said Modi says he doesn’t want mediation. “If you don’t want mediation, what did you talk to Trump about?... No step by Indian authorities that does not lead to the self-determination of Kashmiris is acceptable to us.



No compromise on Kashmir and national defence

To a question, DG ISPR said that it cannot even be imagined that a deal could be made on Kashmir. Strongly rejecting the rumours of any deal over Kashmir, he said: “How can you think that we can do a deal over Kashmir? We have not agreed for a compromise in 72 years, why would we do that now?”

He said that armies protect a nation’s sovereignty and added: “When that is threatened, war fighting becomes a compulsion instead of a choice. It is up to India and the rest of the world (whether they work for peace or take the situation towards war).”

Answering a question regarding the use of nuclear weapons, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said this was a serious issue and a political one. He said using weapons of deterrence was a political choice, and Pakistan has always kept all its options open. “We have no ‘no-first-use’ policy, these are weapons of deterrence,” he remarked.

Asked about Indian defence minister’s statement that they might change their ‘no first use policy’ on nuclear weapons, Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said: “If they [India] want to change their policy then it is their choice. But there is always a second after the first.”

Wars were not fought only with weapons but skills, tactics and above all the initiative, drive and determination to sacrifice, and the armed forces of Pakistan possessed all the required abilities for warring, he said.

Answering another question, Major General Asif Ghafoor said we believe in diplomacy to avoid military conflict, but war becomes a compulsion if all other options fail. He said India is a perpetual threat for Pakistan and all our preparedness is focused on New Delhi’s negative tactics.

He expressed the hope that Kashmir issue will be resolved whether it takes a day or a year. He said Pakistan has always tried to resolve Kashmir issue peacefully through table talks.



Other issues

Talking about the reconciliation process in Afghanistan, Asif said that peace could be achieved through intra-Afghan dialogue in the latter part of the reconciliation process.

About rumours regarding the establishment of relations between Pakistan and Israel, DG ISPR said rumours such as these are spread as part of fifth-generation warfare.

To a question, DG ISPR said the decision to grant extension to Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa was a prerogative of the prime minister, which he had exercised. “Army Chief did not want an extension,” he said.

Speaking about Defence and Martyrs Day to be observed on Friday, he urged people to reach out to the families of the martyrs to pay homage to the martyrs and honour the great sacrifices they rendered for the defence of the motherland.

Regarding anti-polio campaign, Major General Asif Ghafoor said elimination of polio disease is vital for the future of our children, and everyone should support this campaign.