Azm-e-Istehkam: Govt hopes Imran Khan to walk the talk on APC

Azm-e-Istehkam: Govt hopes Imran Khan to walk the talk on APC

Federal Information Minister Attaullah Tarar addressing a press conference at the PTV HQ on February 7, 2023. — APP
  • Tarar ‘welcomes’ Imran’s statement on APC.
  • Hopes Imran Khan will stand by his words. 
  • Azm-e-Istehkam launched to root out terrorism.

Information Minister Attaullah Tarar has confirmed media reports that the federal government is planning to hold an all-parties conference (APC) to evolve a broader consensus on the newly launched Operation Azm-e-Istehkam and also ‘welcomed’ the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder’s statement signalling to attend the key huddle.

The minister’s confirmation comes a day after Geo News citing sources reported that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had decided to convene an APC “to gain political parties’ confidence as the opposition parties have voiced concerns over the new operation and demanded the government to take parliament into confidence before launching any counterterrorism drive.

“Certainly, consultation is underway with the allies […] to summon the APC regarding [Operation] Azm-e-Istehkam,” the information minister said while addressing the press conference in Islamabad on Friday.

The federal cabinet last week approved the launch of the counter-terrorism operation following the National Action Plan’s Central Apex Committee’s recommendations to root out militance from the country.

The country experienced a 12% reduction in overall violence, with 380 fatalities recorded compared to 432 in the first quarter of this year, according to the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) Annual Security report.

During the second quarter of the current year, Pakistan witnessed 380 violence-linked fatalities and 220 injuries among civilians, security personnel, and outlaws, resulting from as many as 240 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations. 

Interacting with the media today, Tarar said the government held the first round of consultation with the allies regarding the operation and any further development in this regard will be shared with the media.

Earlier today as he appeared in a case at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, the incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan said that his party would participate in the APC in which the government is expected to take political parties into confidence over the latest counter-terrorism operation. “My party will participate in the all-parties conference and hear what the government has to say,” he noted.

Referring to the PTI founder’s statement on APC, Tarar hoped that Khan would stand by his statement to attend the government-hosted huddle.

The information minister said that all political parties should be taken on board over the new operation as it concerned the entire country.

“Progress is being made and consultation is underway,” Tarar said of the government’s efforts to muster consensus on the APC, adding the government would share further details if contact is made with any political party. 

No large-scale military operation being launched: PM

After opposition parties including the PTI, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP), and others expressed apprehensions regarding the military operation, the PMO had clarified that “no large-scale military operation is being launched” in the country.

“The recently announced vision for enduring stability named Azm-e-Istehkam is being erroneously misunderstood and compared with earlier launched kinetic operations like Zarb-e-Azab, Rah-e-Najaat etc,” read a statement issued by the PMO on June 24.

The federal government had further stated that there are no such no-go areas in the country since the ability of terrorist entities to carry out large-scale organised operations inside Pakistan was decisively degraded by earlier kinetic operations.

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