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PTI Leader Asad Qaiser Questions New Military Operation Amidst Controversy

Asad Qaiser, a prominent leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has raised significant questions regarding the recently announced military operation, Azm-e-Istehkam, aimed at combating militancy in Pakistan. In a recent interview, Qaiser expressed reservations about the decision-making process and the necessity of the operation.

According to Asad Qaiser, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, representing the province during a crucial meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, indicated that no discussions about a comprehensive military operation took place. He emphasized that Gandapur acknowledged routine discussions on existing counter-terrorism efforts but denied any planning or approval for a full-fledged operation.

The PTI leader’s remarks come amidst his party’s staunch opposition to the operation, with PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan insisting that parliament must be consulted before launching any military campaign. Khan asserted that the legislature should define the operation’s parameters and ensure transparency in decision-making.

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, in response to PTI’s opposition, accused them of siding with terrorists by questioning the necessity of the operation. Asif defended the decision, stating that all stakeholders, including the KP chief minister who is also the PTI president in the province, were informed and involved in the decision-making process.

Qaiser reiterated PTI’s stance on parliamentary oversight, advocating for broader consultations with political stakeholders from the Pashtun community, including the Awami National Party and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl). He stressed the importance of a comprehensive discussion to address concerns about potential lawlessness and instability in the region.

Regarding international concerns, particularly from Beijing, Qaiser emphasized the need to protect Chinese interests and address their apprehensions through parliamentary deliberations. He underscored that Pakistan’s policy decisions, especially those impacting regional peace, should be formulated and executed transparently through parliamentary consensus.

Reflecting on past military operations in Swat and Waziristan, Qaiser raised doubts about their effectiveness, suggesting a review of their outcomes to inform current strategies. He questioned the operational goals and outcomes, indicating a need for clarity on how the new operation would be executed and monitored.

As Pakistan navigates this sensitive issue of national security and counter-terrorism efforts, Qaiser’s statements underscore the complexities and divergent perspectives shaping the discourse within the country’s political landscape. The debate surrounding Azm-e-Istehkam highlights broader concerns about governance, accountability, and the role of parliament in shaping security policies affecting the nation.

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