Gandapur, Shibli advise PTI leaders to 'wait for details' of military operation

Gandapur tells party leaders that Apex Committee meeting only discussed about stability in Pakistan

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and PTI leader Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur and PTI leader Shibli Faraz addressing a press conference in Islamabad. — APP/File
  • Majority of PTI members don't agree to the advice.
  • PTI leaders furious as KP CM not openly opposing operation.
  • Multiple senior leaders oppose the military operation.

ISLAMABAD: In a high-level Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) meeting, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, PTI leaders Shibli Faraz and Barrister Saif advised party leaders to wait for particulars of the newly-announced military operation to come out before taking any decision.

Sources told Geo News that the meeting at the KP House, Islamabad, was given a briefing on the National Action Plan’s Apex Committee meeting and also on meeting with the incarcerated PTI founder, Imran Khan.

Gandapur, who attended the Apex Committee meeting as his province’s representative, apprised that the forum only discussed about security issues and stability in Pakistan.

He briefed the meeting for 35 minutes, wherein he presented his arguments supporting his stance of waiting for details of the operation Azm-e-Istehkam, but majority of the party members did not agree to him, the sources maintained.

During a meeting of the Apex Committee, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif last Saturday gave the go-ahead to operation Azm-e-Istehkam, a reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism drive, to turn up the heat on militants targetting the state of Pakistan.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said the new counter-terrorism push has been approved with the consensus of all stakeholders including provinces, Gilgit Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

"The approval of the operation symbolises the national resolve to eradicate all forms of extremism and terrorism from the country," the PMO said.

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

The sources said the PTI leaders were furious as the KP chief minister is not openly opposing the military operation.

Gandapur opined they should wait for details of the operation to come out and opposing it before that would not be appropriate, the sources said.

Multiple leaders including Omar Ayub, Barrister Gohar, Asad Qaisar, Shandana Gulzar and other senior leaders opposed the military operation. Whereas, Faraz, Saif, and Gandapur preferred waiting for the details, they added.

The PTI founder always opposed the military operation and they stood with his stance, said many of them on this occasion.

Govt clears the air on misconceptions

The PMO had late Monday 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.

It said the previous kinetic operations were conducted to physically dislodge terrorists from their known locations which had become no-go areas and compromised the writ of the state. “These operations required mass displacement of the local population and systematic clearance of affected areas.”

The federal government has 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.

“Therefore, no large-scale military operation is being contemplated where displacement of population will be required,” the PMO said.

It said that Operation Azm-e-Istehkam is a multi-domain, multi-agency, whole-of-the-system national vision for enduring stability in Pakistan.