The army has nothing to do with politics: ISPR

ISLAMABAD:

The military once again made it clear on Thursday that it had nothing to do with politics and urged everyone not to speculate further as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government clashes with common opposition , who is seeking his ouster by a vote of no confidence.

“I said earlier that the army has nothing to do with politics. It is best for all of us to avoid unnecessary speculation on this,” Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Babar Iftikhar told a press conference while answering a question.

The press conference was called to brief the media on an unarmed “high-speed flying object” that was fired from India’s Sirsa region towards Pakistan and landed at Mian Chunnu in Punjab on Wednesday.

But when asked to comment on the current political situation in the context of a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister in the context of a possible role for the army, the chief military spokesman s referred to his earlier statement in which he said the military had nothing to do with politics.

He was then specifically asked that despite his earlier categorical statement, there was no respite from allegations that the military was involved in politics.

To this he replied, “Whatever anyone says, if anyone doubts anything is being done on our part, then anyone who makes such statements should be asked to back up their claims.” No one has yet given evidence (on the involvement of the army in politics).

His statement comes hours after Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain portrayed key opposition leaders as anti-army and linked their no-confidence motion to their long-standing unfulfilled desire. to exercise political control over the institution.

“Under the constitutional regime,” the government spokesman said when answering a question, “the army always stands alongside the government in place.”

The army must obey the Constitution, he added.

Fawad’s press conference was loaded with video clips and reports that apparently indicated that opposition leaders had issued anti-army statements in the past and that their attacks continued into the recent past.

The military’s alleged role in politics has come under scrutiny in the context of the opposition’s decision to seek the ousting of Prime Minister Imran through a vote of no confidence.

Political observers believe Khan faces a major challenge to his nearly 4-year rule as this time, unlike in the past, the powers that be remain “neutral”.

Nonetheless, the prime minister is adamant that the no-confidence motion will be defeated and has warned he will make the opposition pay for their latest attempt to overthrow him.

During the press conference, DG ISPR disclosed that an unarmed ‘high-speed flying object’ was fired from India’s Sirsa region towards Pakistan and landed in Mian Chunnu, Punjab province on Wednesday. . It was first thought that it could be a plane crash.

Giving details, DG ISPR said: “On 9 March 2022 at 6:43 p.m., a high-speed flying object was recovered inside Indian Territory by the PAF Air Defense Operations Center. From its original trajectory , the object suddenly maneuvered into Pakistani territory and violated Pak airspace, finally falling near Mian Channu at 6:50 p.m., also damaging civilian property.

“Fortunately, no human loss or injury was caused,” he added.

He said the PAF was continuously monitoring the entire flight path of the flying object from its point of origin Sirsa in India to its point of impact near Mian Channu and initiated the required tactical actions in accordance with SOPs. .

“It is important to stress that the flight path of this object has endangered numerous international and domestic passenger flights in both Indian and Pakistani airspace, as well as lives and property on the ground,” Major General Babar said.

“Whatever the cause of this incident, it is up to the Indians to explain it. This nonetheless shows their disregard for air safety and very poorly reflects their technological prowess and procedural efficiency. The incident could have resulted in a major air disaster as well as civilian casualties on the ground,” he said.

Asked for more details on the object, he replied “we do not claim anything at this time”. “As a responsible nation, we will wait for India to respond. We have given details of everything we know at this time. But it is up to Indians to explain what happened to Mian Channu.”

He said Pakistan strongly protests against this egregious violation and warned against repeating such an incident in the future.

Air Vice Marshal Tariq Zia told reporters that at the time this projectile was recovered there were two active air routes and several commercial airlines in the area. “If you look at the speed and the height of the projectile, it was 40,000 feet high and the airlines were between 35,000 and 42,000 feet. That could have been very detrimental to passenger safety.”

Air Vice Marshal Tariq Zia on the occasion said the object flew 124 kilometers into Pakistan and remained in Pakistani airspace for three minutes.

Read more: The constitution obliges the army to stand alongside the government: Fawad

He said it was a supersonic missile, but further investigation into this is ongoing.

Responding to a question regarding the recent terrorist activities in the country, Major General Iftikhar said that there are a few terrorist groups in Afghanistan and sometimes it might be necessary to control them.

“Those behind these incidents, we reach them in days and eliminate them…so far we have killed more terrorists in weeks,” he added.

Meanwhile, India’s Chargé d’Affaires in Islamabad was summoned to the Foreign Ministry and conveyed Pakistan’s strong protest against the unprovoked violation of its airspace by a “supersonic flying object” of origin Indian.

The Indian diplomat was informed that the reckless launch of the flying object not only caused damage to civilian property but also endangered human lives on the ground. Furthermore, the flight path of the flying object endangered several domestic/international flights in Pakistani airspace and could have resulted in a serious aviation accident as well as civilian casualties.

Read also : Do not involve the military in politics: DG ISPR

The Indian diplomat was asked to convey to the Indian government Pakistan’s strong condemnation of this flagrant violation of Pakistani airspace in violation of established international standards and aviation security protocols. These irresponsible incidents also reflected India’s disregard for aviation security and its insensitivity to regional peace and stability.

Pakistan calls for a thorough and transparent investigation into the incident, the results of which should be shared with Pakistan. Further, the Government of India is requested to be aware of the unpleasant consequences of such negligence and to take effective measures to prevent such violations from happening in the future.

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