India’s attempt to link coronavirus to Muslims and Pakistan has ‘failed badly’: DG ISPR

April 24, 2020

Director General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Babar Iftikhar on Friday said that India’s attempt to “link coronavirus with Muslims and Pakistanis has failed badly”.

Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi, the DG ISPR said: “At a time when the the entire world is battling the coronavirus pandemic, extremists in India have proved that the country is promoting Hindutva and saffron terrorism”.

He added that the Indian army’s leadership used the country’s media to unsuccessfully propagate a “false” narrative.

Recently, Indian army chief General MM Naravane had alleged that Pakistan was “exporting terror” during the coronavirus crisis while India was helping others and its own people.

“It is very unfortunate that at a time when the whole world and India is fighting the menace of this pandemic, our neighbour continues to foment trouble for us,” The Hindustan Times had quoted Navarane as saying.

Addressing those remarks, DG ISPR said that the allegations were a “reflection of India’s internal failures and increasing frustrations and demoralisations”. He added that the “fire of oppression, hatred and race that India had lit in Kashmir” has now spread to the rest of the country.

“The saffronisation of the Indian military and polity is a sad spectre and ill-suited during the current circumstances.

“The reality of the fake news that India tried to spread regarding Azad Kashmir is now in front of the world,” he said, adding that the least number of coronavirus cases across the country were in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and no deaths have been reported so far.

“Whenever India has faced internal problems, it has blamed Pakistan. The current allegations are also based on the same [tactic], to divert internal and international attention from situations arising out if its own policy blunders,” he said, adding that under India’s current internal conditions, “no country needed to infiltrate India”.

The DG ISPR pointed out that there has been an increase in ceasefire violations by India. “Since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in Pakistan, India has committed some 456 violations, resulting in the death of a minor child and injuries to 31 others.”

‘TTQ strategy to drive country’s effort’

Maj Gen Iftikhar said that all resources of the Pakistan Army were being used to combat the pandemic. “All army resources are being used at all levels to combat this pandemic. Resource allocation is also being altered according to conditions.

“A smart lockdown, and testing, tracing and quarantining will drive our efforts against Covid-19. We will have a targeted lockdown only for virus hotspots and clusters.”

He added that the army will extend help in this regard. Thanking medics and all those people working to keep the economy going, he urged people to keep themselves restricted and protect themselves from the pandemic. “Next 15 days are crucial. Make your homes your places of worship.”

He also shared that all medical staff from the army’s medical core had been summoned to help with relief efforts while the army’s five testing laboratories were working to supplement the National Institute of Health’s testing capacity.

He also said that the army decided not to take internal security allowances so the money could instead be used to help with efforts to combat the pandemic. “The air force has operated flights to bring relief supplies from China and the navy is distributing ration to people living in Sindh and Balochistan’s coastal areas.”

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