By Agha Iqrar Haroon
I have been working as Defence Correspondent since almost 31 years and covered several Indo-Pak accelerations in past including famous “Kargil standoff”.
However, I never reported any press briefing of any Director General Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR) who talked about diplomacy, sanity, peace resolve and philosophy of saving and serving humanity. All previous post Indo-Pak acceleration press briefings were just about possibilities how Pakistan could destroy its enemy?
Today’s February 27, 2019 press briefing conducted by the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor was altogether different, unusual and touching—
After explaining how Pakistan captured two Indian fighter pilots after shooting down two 2000 Mirage and how did Pakistan conducted non-military strikes inside Indian Occupied Kashmir, the DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that nobody wins in war but defeat is won by Humanity, and added that not a single conflict has (had) ever been resolved through war in human history.
I wish to share some of his thoughts which I fear would go under the dust of “war reporting” by our media men.
- Pakistan does not want war. Pakistan is a peace loving responsible country.
- We should sit for talks and we 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 even today we deliberately avoided military targets.
- We avoided deaths and collateral damage. We locked real targets and we could destroy targets including a building of Indian army establishment, military post, military depot etc but after locking targets, we fired at an open place to avoid death and blood.
- We just sent a message that we could destroy you but destruction is not a solution and 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.
- This was not a retaliation to continued Indian belligerence.
- Sole purpose was to demonstrate our right (targeting inside IoK), will and capability for self-defense.
- 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 showed restraint in our actions and responsibility in our response.
- We have sent a message to India that despite having the capability to engage, we 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.