Azm-e-Istehkam: Nawaz Sharif calls for extending ‘full support’ to armed forces

Azm-e-Istehkam: Nawaz Sharif calls for extending ‘full support’ to armed forces

Nawaz Sharif looks at his supporters gathered at Minar-e-Pakistan during an event held to welcome him in Lahore on October 21, 2023. — X/@pmln_org
  • Issues countered 7 years ago resurfaced as serious crisis: Nawaz.
  • PTI to attend APC on Operation Azm-e-Istehkam.
  • Top military brass denounces undue criticism against anti-terror op.

After the announcement of a new anti-terrorism drive — Operation Azm-e-Istehkam (Resolve for Stability), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif on Saturday called for extending “unwavering support to armed forces and security institutions to root out terrorism from the country”.

“[The] issues which were countered seven years ago have now become a serious crisis, again,” Nawaz said in a meeting with PML-N Parliamentary Leader in the Senate Irfan Siddiqui in Murree today.

Slamming the opposition’s criticism against Operation Azm-e-Istehkam, the former prime minister said that some elements behind “instability” and “defamation” of the country abroad were not interested in [fortifying] democracy.

He demanded all stakeholders to show firm support to the security institutions to eliminate the menace of terrorism.

The PML-N’s top leader made the statement after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to organise an all-parties conference (APC) take all stakeholders into confidence on the newly launched anti-terrorism operation — a reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism drive following a spike in terrorist attacks.

The federal cabinet last week approved the launching of the counter-terrorism operation following the National Action Plan’s Central Apex Committee’s recommendations to turn up the heat on militants targeting Pakistan — which would be focused on intelligence-based operations instead of large-scale military action.

Regarding the scope of the new operation, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also revealed in a recent interview with the Voice of America (VoA) that Pakistan could target terrorist hideouts across the border in Afghanistan to target outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and other militant outfits for carrying out attacks in the Pakistani territory.

However, opposition parties including the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP), and others have voiced concerns over the military operation, demanding that parliament must be taken into confidence before taking any such decision.

Incarcerated PTI founder Imran Khan announced a day ago that his party would participate in the PML-N government-sponsored APC and “hear what the government has to say”.

The PTI founder, while noting that his party has reservations over the new anti-terrorism action, said it would “only lead to further instability” in the country.

In response to criticism, the top military brass a day earlier denounced the undue criticism against the newly launched anti-terrorism operation, stating that the “vision” was being misrepresented deliberately for “vested interests”.

“Forum noted with concern the unwarranted criticism by some quarters and deliberate misrepresentation of the vision, only for furthering their vested interests,” the ISPR had said following Corps Commanders’ Conference (CCC). 

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