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Foreign Affairs

Pakistan’s army calls BBC story pack of lies

Islamabad, Pakistan army has strongly rejected a recent news about alleged human rights violations in the North Waziristan area published by BBC terming it as pack of lies and in violation of journalistic ethos.

The story carries conjecturing implicating Pakistan Army without any proof, said army's media wing the InterServices Public Relations (ISPR) in a statement.

In the June 2 report titled 'Uncovering Pakistan's Secret Human Rights Abuses' the British broadcaster accused the Pakistani military of rights abuses during a military offensive, codenamed ZarbeAzb, in North Waziristan.

The ISPR added the angling, spinning and creditability of the story is exposed from the fact that contrary to published claim, ISPR only received a judgmental questionnaire via email.

In response ISPR offered full opportunity even interaction to know the facts (copy attached). BBC team never responded and did a preconceived conjectured story, the statement read.

The Army's media wing negated the reporting, saying the story was void of the context and understanding of the prevalent environment at that time.

It added contrary to the expression in the story, Operation in North Waziristan as per the given date of so called incident in the report had not yet started.

According to ISPR, the area of North Waziristan was being used by terrorists to plan, coordinate and execute terrorists activities across the country and on an average, 68 terrorist incidents were taking place across the country per month.

People were being slaughtered in NWD and terrorists were playing football with heads of their victims. NWD and local population was actually hostage to hardcore terrorists, it said.

The statement added that the BBC story lacks any credible and authentic source and relied on hearsay, with its claims regarding the socalled strikes that allegedly wrongly targeted a civilian's house based on news aired by an unauthentic private TV channel on January 22, 2014.

The only source interviewed also didn't point at anyone or talked about strike or operation, the ISPR said, adding that the incident mentioned in the report is of North Waziristan whereas the activist quoted as a source belongs to a particular group from South Waziristan District.

It said besides not availing full opportunity offered by ISPR, the BBC report ignored available official government stance on recent Kharkamar check post incident in NWD.

The writer surely lacked knowledge of environment, ground situation, geography of the area and about conduct of operations. The story remains ill intended, biased and part of a larger agenda. It also amounts to undermine Pakistan's efforts for fighting global menace of terrorism and Pakistan's unparalleled achievements in war against terrorism [that have been] contributing to regional peace.

The people of Pakistan are well aware of the fake news phenomenon of all types and design behind such undertakings, the ISPR said, adding that the issue was being formally taken up with BBC authorities.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA


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