Military spokesperson Major General Asim Bajwa shot back at a question on whether the Pakistan Army was capable of going after every last terrorist indiscriminately, terming it an insult to the people of Pakistan and the armed forces.
“I would say this is an insult to the Pakistani people and Pakistani forces if you ask this kind of question. When I say we’re very clear and we are capable of dealing with them,” said the Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) in an interview to CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour.
General Bajwa clarified that the army was taking action against militants ‘without any discrimination.’
“There are no good terrorists. There is no collusion. We are absolutely clear, no confusion in our mind. We are going against all terrorists without any discrimination of hue and colour,” he said.
Bajwa said the army is clear in its aim and they “have to go against the phenomenon of terrorism, against all terrorists, and their abettors.”
Speaking about the military’s efforts in combating terrorism, the DG ISPR said, “We have been so effective and we’ve achieved the desired results. And we are expanding it. We will go to the last terrorist and we will eliminate terrorism totally from our soil.”
“We’ve already cleared a major part of North Waziristan except for a small belt of area, of terrain, just next to Afghanistan border. There are air and aviation gunship strikes, which are continuing. And there will be ground operation as well,” he added.
Comparing the military’s performance to that of US forces in Iraq and Aghanistan, Bajwa said, “Look at the performance of Pakistani forces, they have done an excellent job.”
Further, he said the attack on Army Public School in Peshawar has united the entire nation, “There is a ‘whole of nation’ approach. You’ve seen the entire political leadership take on one table and take certain decisions for the future of our country.”
Expressing gratitude to the international community for showing solidarity during the time, DG ISPR said, “This is a fight which is against an enemy who is focused and who is very clear that the whole world is their enemy. So we, the whole world, need to come together, join our hands and fight this common enemy with common resources and with common narrative.”
The military spokesperson also said that “it is very difficult to guarantee that nothing of this kind happens anywhere in the world. We just saw what happened in Paris. We have seen school shootouts in places like America.”
Amanpour went on to talk about the consequences of the Peshawar attack, including the government’s decision to lift a ban on executions.
“There is always a chance of blowback (of these executions). So now that the military has been mandated, it has a sunset clause for two years. But there is also a criminal justice reform which is underway,” Bajwa said.
Responding to a question regarding the establishment of military courts in the wake of the attack, Bajwa said, “[Military courts are] a stopgap arrangement which has now been given to the military for a period of two years while the criminal justice system is under reform.”
Commenting on relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, the spokesperson said, “I would say this has given a huge fillip to the relations. But the relations were already on a positive trajectory, especially ever since we had a new government in Afghanistan.”