Zero tolerance for Daesh in Pakistan: DG ISPR

November 20, 2015

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WASHINGTON: Pakistan has a zero tolerance for Daesh and the terrorist group has no acceptance in the country, said Director General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Lt Gen Asim Bajwa on Thursday.

He added that a global response is needed to deal with the global threat posed by the terrorist group also known as self-styled Islamic State (IS).

On the question of Daesh, the DG ISPR stated that as also mentioned by the army chief, Daesh was a global threat and needed a global response to be defeated.

"There is a zero tolerance for Daesh in Pakistan. Even Daesh's shadow will not be allowed in Pakistan," said DG ISPR.

He elaborated further that the Pakistani society has totally rejected Daesh and there was no acceptance of the terror group in Pakistan.

He said that action is expected against any visibility of Daesh in Pakistan.

Lt Gen Bajwa said that the whole world has recognised that Daesh was a threat but it was centred in the Middle East, with elements in Afghanistan.

Responding to a question on Pakistan's support in fighting Daesh, the Bajwa stated that we are already cooperating in the fight against terrorism in the region with in a larger framework.

He said that Daesh tried to raise its voice in Pakistan at a time when there was already a crackdown underway against terrorists and space for militants was being squeezed.

"People were already fed up with terrorism and there was no acceptance for it in the society and they will be defeated in coming days," he added.

On Afghanistan, Bajwa said that everyone supports the Afghan-owned and Afghan-led reconciliation process and recalled that the process had already begun with the Murree peace talks, when it was derailed.

"The process had taken off and had it continued, there would have been progress made by now," he added.

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"US leaders paid glowing tributes to Pakistan and its armed forces and there was a clear recognition and acknowledgement of the opportunities created both inside and outside Pakistan because of Zarb-e-Azb," said Bajwa, referring to the army chief and prime minister's recent visit to the US.

Responding to another question, he said that after the initiation of the security operation in North Waziristan, many terrorist elements fled to Khyber tribal agencym which is an equally difficult terrain to operate in.

"Terrorists have taken shelter in a pocket of Shawal region, which was now being cleared."

The head of the armed forces media wing added that initially there were some difficulties as the Pak-Afghan border is long and porous, hence closer coordination is being done with the Afghan leadership to seal this pocket and eliminate terrorists from that area," stated Bajwa.

He said no time-frame can be given at this time for the military operation, but the objectives will be achieved as soon as possible.

The DG ISPR said in addition to Zarb-e-Azb, 12,000 intelligence-based operations (IBO) were conducted in the the urban areas of the country which were aimed at sleeper cells and abettors.

"The operation against terrorists will not end mid-way and it will reach its logical conclusion," said the general.

He added that Pakistan could offer its vast amount of experience and that the world was benefiting from Pakistan's experience in combating terrorism.

He concluded the press conference by adding that Pakistan has already played an important role in the global fight against terrorism and this will continue in the future.