Major General Asif Ghafoor is Pakistan’s Director General of Inter Service Public Relations (ISPR), the media and public relations arm of its armed forces, since December 2016. A representative of the official view for the Pakistan Army, his statements are closely watched, both domestically and internationally. Some of his Twitter updates have caused political storm in Pakistan. Major General Ghafoor spoke to the Indian Express in Islamabad on the sidelines of an interaction with media representatives from South Asian countries. Excerpts from the interview:
What is going on with Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan? He, despite UN strictures, seems to be free again.
Hafiz Saeed, you see, is under custody or confinement as possible according to the law in Pakistan. There is no evidence against him and has been discharged by the courts. We have held him under the NPO, but there has been no evidence from the Indian side against him.
Will Jamaat-ud-Dawa become a political party?
Hafiz Saeed is a citizen of Pakistan and anything he does, other than violence, is good. There is a process in Pakistan for anyone to participate in politics. The Election Commission of Pakistan has its rules and laws. If he (Hafiz) fulfills all those requirements that is for the ECP to decide. Please don’t forget that there are, if I am not wrong, nearly 200 political parties in Pakistan and more than 160 of them have never won a single seat in an election. I will leave it at that.
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