A day after India Today TV carried out an investigation titled “Pakistan’s Ghost Martyrs”, Pakistan army went on backfoot and said that sacrifice of its soldiers is not just a figure.
The investigation was carried out by India Today TV’s Special Investigation Team that established how Pakistani army has been understating its casualty figures along the Line of Control (LoC).
The Pakistani army spokesperson Major General Asif Ghafoor has now gone into a defensive mode, saying that the casualties suffered by Pakistan are not a matter of figures.
Addressing a press conference in Rawalpindi on Wednesday, Ghafoor said, “It’s not a matter of figure. If 20,000-25,000 thousand people have made a sacrifice for Pakistan, this is not about a figure, it is about humanity. They are alive for us according to our theory in Islam.”
“These people have sacrificed their lives for us, they have families left here, they have parents and children here. I request every Pakistani to reach out to the families of martyrs in their areas and put up their pictures and remember them,” Ghafoor said.
Ghafoor recalled that the army had started a tradition of observing Martyrs Day every year on 6th of September and the sacrifice of its martyrs will go in vain if the public of Pakistan does not acknowledge its importance.
Earlier Ghafoor acknowledged the India Today report by sharing a link of India Today broadcast and termed it Indian media’s “obsession with ISPR”.
An India Today’s open-source investigation compared the historical data released by Pakistani army with its daily data. The comparision showed a gross mismatch. The investigation found that the historical data mentions several fatal incidents along Line of Control (LoC), and the daily statements released by Pakistan overlooked these incidents.
In the second part of the investigation, crowd-sourced data collected by India Today identified multiple casualties in Pakistan army between July and August along LoC. These casualties have not been publicly acknowledged by the ISPR.
Reacting to India Today expose, Sushant Sarin, Senior Fellow of Observer Research Foundation said, “The reason why they don’t acknowledge their casualties because it is deeply embarrassing for the army, which has created a veneer of invincibility about it. However, in reality, they are taking quite a beating.”
Sarin recalled that the Pakistan army did the same during Kargil war. “They even control the media in order to make sure that leaks don’t happen,” alleged Sarin.