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JUI-F and PTI Declare ‘Military Operation Not the Solution’ Following Approval of ‘Azm-e-Istehkam’

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) have both voiced opposition to military operations as a solution to the country’s problems, following the government’s approval of the operation “Azm-e-Istehkam.”

This stance was made clear during a Saturday meeting in Islamabad between PTI’s Asad Qaiser and JUI-F Emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman, according to a statement released on Sunday. Both leaders expressed concerns over the worsening security and law and order situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and emphasized the importance of political parties in achieving peace and stability in the region.

They agreed to fulfill their roles as the opposition in the National Assembly and to form a political committee to address issues between their parties and develop a political strategy. Additionally, they committed to fostering brotherly relations with Afghanistan and called for the creation of an economic corridor at border crossings.

Their statements come a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif approved “Azm-e-Istehkam,” a national counter-terrorism initiative aimed at intensifying efforts against militants targeting Pakistan. PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan, speaking outside the Parliament House, insisted that the legislature be consulted before any military operations are launched. Qaiser added that any decisions or agreements should be presented to parliament.

The decision to launch this new operation was made during a Central Apex Committee meeting on the National Action Plan (NAP), which received consensus approval from all stakeholders, including provinces, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The statement from the PM’s Office indicated that the military’s renewed efforts would be fully supported by all law enforcement agencies.

This move follows a significant increase in terrorist attacks in recent months, resulting in numerous civilian and security force casualties. Pakistan has repeatedly urged Afghanistan’s Taliban-led administration to prevent its territory from being used by terrorist organizations against Pakistan, a claim that Kabul has denied.

According to the Q1 2024 Security Report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), the first four months of 2024 saw at least 432 fatalities and 370 injuries among civilians, security personnel, and outlaws from 245 incidents of terror attacks and counter-terror operations. Of the 432 fatalities, 281 were civilians and security forces personnel. The report noted that 92% of fatalities and 86% of attacks, including those related to terrorism and security operations, occurred in the KP and Balochistan provinces in the first quarter of 2024.

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