K-P Governor Kundi voices support for ‘Azm-e-Istehkam’ operation

Says those who backed terrorists should also be targeted

Our Correspondent June 24, 2024


Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Governor Faisal Karim Kundi has expressed his support for Operation Azm-e-Istehkam.

Earlier today, Kundi visited the Bacha Khan Centre of the Awami National Party (ANP) and met with senior party leaders to discuss security and political matters.

In a subsequent media briefing, the K-P governor remarked "Those who backed terrorists should also be targeted. It would have been better to take political parties on board regarding the operation."

 "I will raise the political parties' concerns with the Prime Minister and the President of Pakistan. As Governor, I support Operation Azm-e-Istehkam."

Parliament divided over another military operation

The government offered an in-camera briefing to parliament on a new military operation against terrorists, as opposition lawmakers on Sunday mounted a strong protest in the National Assembly, asserting that the parameters of the offensive should have been set in parliament.

Yesterday, Pakistan Tehreek Insaf (PTI) and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) declared their refusal to support any military operation, demanding that military leadership take Parliament into confidence first.

After walking out of the National Assembly today, PTI and SIC leaders addressed the media. PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar emphasised, "Any military operation must involve parliamentary consent. Parliament is supreme under the Constitution."

However, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said the decision of the operation was taken in an Apex Committee meeting which was also attended by K-P CM Ali Amin Gandapur.

The minister accused PTI of “standing with the terrorists by demonstrating in this house”. He said that if the PTI had any objection, they could discuss it in the house. “The decision of the committee is being taken to the cabinet, after which the matter will be brought to the House.”

Today, ANP declared its opposition to the Azm-e-Istehkam operation of Pakistan, declaring the operation unacceptable under any circumstances.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), has also criticised Operation Azm-e-Istehkam, labelling it as a move that will further destabilise Pakistan.

What is Operation Azm-e-Istehkam?

Last week on June 22, a meeting was held in Islamabad which included key federal cabinet members such as the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Defence Minister, Interior Minister, Finance Minister, Law Minister, and Information Minister.

Following the meeting, the Apex Committee of National Action Plan, chaired by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, approved “Operation Azm-e-Istehkam” to eliminate terrorism and extremism across the country.

Chief ministers from all provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan, services chiefs, provincial chief secretaries, and other senior civilian, military, and law enforcement officials also attended.

The forum conducted a comprehensive review of the ongoing anti-terrorism campaign and internal security situation. It examined the progress of the National Action Plan's multi-domain principles and highlighted areas where implementation was lacking. Emphasis was placed on addressing these shortcomings as a priority.

The meeting stressed the need for a new, dynamic counter-terrorism strategy based on national consensus and broad systemic coordination.

Operation Azm-e-Istehkam aims to eradicate extremism and terrorism decisively and comprehensively. It will coordinate and align efforts across multiple fronts to address the threats while intensifying efforts to curb terrorist activities through regional cooperation within the political and diplomatic spheres.

The operation will bolster the armed forces' renewed and vigorous efforts with full support from all law enforcement agencies. Effective legislation will be enacted to close legal loopholes that hinder the prosecution of terrorism-related cases, ensuring exemplary punishments for offenders.

This campaign will be complemented by socio-economic measures aimed at addressing the genuine concerns of the populace and creating an environment that discourages extremist tendencies.

The forum reiterated that the fight against extremism and terrorism is Pakistan's own battle, crucial for the nation's survival and welfare. It was decided that no one would be allowed to challenge the state's authority without repercussions.

The forum also reviewed measures to ensure foolproof security for Chinese nationals in Pakistan. Following the prime minister's approval, new Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were issued to enhance the security framework for Chinese citizens in the country.


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