Farewell to DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor——A Peacemonger in Uniform

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

I have been working as Defence Correspondent for the last 25 years out of my 33-year career in journalism but reporting out-going Director General Inter Service Public Relations Major General Asif Ghafoor had been a pleasure for me.

For me, he is Hawk with a dove beak—

Reporting a Director General Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) who had been talking about Diplomacy, Sanity, Peace Resolve and philosophy of saving and serving humanity was an unusual experience. He always advises us (Defence Correspondents) to avoid Warmongering and write for Regional Peace.

He always used to say that “War is not a solution rather this is just enormous destruction”.

He knows art of injuring India with volley of his soft but lethal words.

He is very clear in philosophy of Deterrence and always says that it is easy to start war but you do not know where war will lead you. However, he always sends a message across the border that region must not move towards war but if aggression is imposed upon on us (Pakistan) then we will retaliate out of self-defense and then nothing will be left in the region as both countries are Nuclear States.

He always used to say that “War is not a solution rather this is just enormous destruction”.

His tenure as DG ISPR was full of domestic and regional hurricanes but he ended up as most successful media manager and his success as DG ISPR was due to his candid relationship with Media Corp.

If someone asks me to conclude his vision of Media management in pointers, I can include following points which I found during attending his Press briefings as a journalist.

He knows art of injuring India with volley of his soft but lethal words.

Some of important points I gather from his briefings are:

  • Pakistan does not want war. Pakistan is a peace loving responsible country.
  • India and Pakistan should sit for talks and we (India and Pakistan) should eliminate poverty from this region instead of engaging ourselves in war.
  • Media should work for peace not for war.
  • War is not a solution rather this is just enormous destruction
  • We respond only in our Self Defence and we hate aggression.
  • We are a responsible State and deliberately avoid acceleration in the region.
  • We avoid deaths and collateral damage.
  • Destruction is not a solution but be aware we shall never accept intimidation and aggression.
  • Our peace resolve must not be considered as our policy of avoidance but we do not want to push this region into fire of war.
  • It is easy to start war but you do not know where war will lead you.
  •  We must not move towards war.
  • We have no intention of escalation but are fully prepared to do so if forced into that paradigm.
  • If aggression is imposed upon on us we will retaliate out of self-defense.
  • Pakistan is not pushing the environment towards war.
  • Pakistan wants peace, and we don’t want to celebrate as Indian journos. War is not a solution and we always show restraint in our actions and responsibility in our response.
  • Despite having the capability to engage, we always have shown restraint.
  • Our aim is to defend our motherland and yet to ensure no unnecessary provocation to escalate takes place.
  • There should be no victory or war rhetoric as we believe war is not the answer and we wish to live in peace.
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