Major General Babar Iftikhar, director general of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), said that Pakistan Army troops have been deployed across the country to aid the civil administration to contain the novel coronavirus.
“The main objective of the deployment is to enforce the provincial governments’ lockdown directives,” Maj-Gen Iftikhar said in his first-ever interview to private news channel, since assuming the charge of head of military’s media wing in February.
The military is also providing medical and all possible support to the civil administration. “We are also engaged in the mass production of personal protection equipment (PPEs).”
According to the ISPR DG, the National Command and Control Centre (NCOC) was formed to tackle the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and to synergise the national efforts via this central authority.
He appreciated the China’s help to Pakistan in tackling the global pandemic, saying: “Their role is very positive and we are grateful to them.”
While rubbishing the Modi government’s allegation about infiltration attempts, Maj-Gen Iftikhar said, “The baseless allegations of Indian leadership like infiltration of infected Covid-19 patients across LoC are condemnable.”
He went on to say that the saffronisation of Indian army is a reality and it could “jeopardise the regional peace and stability”.
Maj-Gen Iftikhar also reiterated the country’s earlier demand that the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should hold inquiry into the Indian allegations of targeting ‘launching pads’, saying “The UNMOGIP is welcome to visit any area in Pakistan.” The deployment and activities of the Pakistan Army’s troops on eastern and western borders have not been disturbed due to ongoing Covid-19 relief operations.