Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against anyone, says DG ISPR

Web Desk – January 05, 2020

Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Sunday, while speaking to ARY News, said that Pakistan will not allow its soil to be used against anyone.

Quoting Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa, Ghafoor said: “We will not allow our soil to be used against anyone.”

“Pakistan will not be party to anyone or anything but will be a partner of peace and peace alone,” he said quoting Prime Minister Imran.

The director general of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), in reply to a question regarding the killing of Iran’s Major General Qasem Soleimani in a US strike on Friday, said the regional situation had been altered and Pakistan would play its role in helping peace prevail.

Maj Gen Soleimani was killed on Friday morning in a US strike on Baghdad’s international airport, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries.

Shortly after, Gen Bajwa in a call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had emphasised the “need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement” following the killing of Soleimani.

Discussing the phone call between the army chief and Pompeo, Ghafoor said Gen Bajwa had said two things.

Firstly, he said that the region was improving from very bad conditions, adding that the Afghan reconciliation process is very important for this improvement. He added that Pakistan would play its role in this and wants the focus to remain on the issue.

Secondly, he said the army chief had told Pompeo that tensions in the region should be reduced. He said all relevant countries should move forward with constructive practices and dialogue.

“Pakistan will support all peaceful efforts and hopes the region doesn’t go towards another war,” he quoted the army chief as saying.

The Foreign Office via a statement had also expressed “deep concern” over the tensions, urging all sides to exercise restraint.

“Pakistan has viewed with deep concern the recent developments in the Middle East, which seriously threaten peace and stability in the region,” said the FO in a statement.

“Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, which should be adhered to,” the statement said, adding that it is “important to avoid unilateral actions and use of force”.

The statement had urged all parties involved to “exercise maximum restraint, engage constructively to de-escalate the situation, and resolve issues through diplomatic means, in accordance with UN Charter and international law”.

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