Islamabad – Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Saturday said that there is no threat to democracy from the army but non-fulfilment of democratic requirements could pose a threat to the system.
Addressing a press conference here, the chief military spokesman said Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s criticism on him over his remarks on country’s economy is deplorable.
In an interview to a private TV channel, DG ISPR had said that the state of the economy is closely linked with country’s security and can boom only when the country is fully secure.
He said the economy of the country is not bad, but it is not good either and that a better strategy is needed to be devised for future.
Speaking to media on Friday, Interior Minister Ahsan on Friday termed DG ISPR’s statement ‘irresponsible’ and said comments on the national economy by military spokesperson would bring disrepute to the country.
Asif, in his press conference yesterday, expressed disappointment over Ahsan’s remarks and said that he stood by the statements about the economy.
“I was disappointed as a soldier and as a citizen of Pakistan. Never did I say that Pakistan’s economy has been destroyed or something of that sort,” he said.
“We have all done a lot of work for the economy. And I have said the same thing: we have to sit together. It is a very simple: that everyone needs to cooperate.”
“If we need to improve the economy, we will have to bring certain changes, and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor needs to be supported,” he added.
He said he did not give the statement on the personal capacity but behalf of the army.
“When I say something here, I am speaking on behalf of the armed forces. I am not speaking in a personal capacity, as I am the spokesperson of the armed forces”.
Major Asif dispelled the rumours that military is preparing to impose martial law or install a technocrat government in the country.
“The government needs to continue, and the established democratic system needs to continue,” he said. “I have to say this because there are a lot of rumours about martial law and the technocratic government.”
He said the Rangers’ operation in Punjab and Sindh wasn’t conducted with the consent of provincial governments.
DG ISPR said Pakistan Army has done a lot for country’s security during the last 15 years and there is no ‘no-go zone’ in the country at the moment.
Talking about the about the recovery of a Canadian-US family from Taliban’s captivity earlier this week, Asif Pakistan Army conducted the operation to rescue the hostages in Kurram Agency on the intelligence information shared by the US.
He said that the US ambassador had sought the help of Pakistan Army and for the safe recovery of the couple and their three children.
He said Pakistan Army soldiers carried out the operation in Khurram Agency and safely rescued the couple from a five-year-long captivity of Taliban.