Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa.—File Photo

RAWALPINDI: Pakistan’s top military spokesman on Thursday said that the army wishes general elections should be held in the country according to schedule.

Speaking to reporters in Rawalpindi, Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asim Bajwa dismissed the perception that the military would benefit from the postponement of polls.

“We fully support free, fair and timely elections in the country. We have been supporting the present political set up during the last five years and will not get anything if elections are delayed,” said Maj-Gen Bajwa.

Replying to a question, DG ISPR said the army had waged war against terrorist organisations.

He urged all institutions to unite in the fight against terrorism.

Not calling Army in Balochistan 'a political move'

Answering a query about the law and order situation in Balochistan province, Bajwa said there was a civil government in the province during the last five years and the decision to impose governor’s rule was taken after complete political consensus.

He, however, said that decision of not calling the Armed Forces in Balochistan was also a political move although the military leadership was not reluctant to support the civil administration under Article 245 of the Constitution.

The DG ISPR also made it clear that it would also be a political decision if the provincial government was restored in Balochistan.

Bajwa added that Frontier Corps (FC) had set up 19 additional posts in Kalat and Quetta divisions after Jan 10 to further strengthen the security situation after the Hazara Town incident.

A targeted operation led by the FC and supported by the police and intelligence agencies was going on in the province, he added.

Rejecting the impression that any banned organisation was being supported, he said the armed forces were not in contact with any militant organisation including Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).

Commenting on the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), he said that it was operating within its mandate and, during the last four months, it had carried out 130 intelligence operations in Balochistan and prevented several terrorist incidents.

He especially mentioned an operation in which 39,000 kg of explosive material was recovered in the month of August last year.

When asked about deployment of army in Balochistan, he pointed out that not even a single soldier was deployed anywhere in Balochistan during the last five years.

He also appreciated the role of the media, the foreign office and the military leadership for mature handling of the issue of Indian incursions on the Line of Control (LOC) in Kashmir.

Regarding the extradition of former Pakistani Taliban deputy commander Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, who had been captured in Afghanistan, he said: “Our Foreign Office is contact with Afghan Foreign Office for this purpose.”