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Wednesday, July 17, 2024  
10 Muharram 1446  

Khawaja Asif says political consensus to be built for Azm-e-Istehkam

Says that there are no political motives behind election
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addresses a press conference in Lahore on June 25, 2024. Photo via Radio Pakistan
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif addresses a press conference in Lahore on June 25, 2024. Photo via Radio Pakistan

Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif has assured the nation that Operation Azm-e-Istehkam is solely focused on eradicating terrorism and has no political motives. He also assured that the concerns of PTI and JUI regarding the operation will be addressed.

Addressing a press conference at the PML-N’s central secretariat in Model Town, Lahore, Asif stated that the operation is intelligence-based and its details will be finalized in the coming days. He further emphasized that provinces will have to contribute financially to the operation.

He refuted comparisons between this operation and previous ones, asserting that there is no established reign of terror by militants in the country. Asif also highlighted that the provinces hold significant funds and should contribute to the costs of deploying Rangers, as the federation already bears the financial burden.

Asif clarified that the operation is intelligence-based, unlike previous operations which led to mass displacement. He attributed the current wave of terrorism to the return and re-establishment of the Taliban after the success of operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad, which had brought peace to the country.

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The Defense Minister assured that a consensus will be built in parliament regarding the operation, with time allocated for discussions and addressing concerns raised by opposition parties and allies. He also highlighted that the operation was unanimously approved by the apex committee, which included the Chief Ministers of all four provinces, with no objections raised by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister.

Asif stressed that failure to control terrorism could lead to its spread to other provinces. He also pointed out that 6,000 terrorists were settled in the country, finding refuge in their homes, and their return has brought destruction.

He further emphasized that the operation is not a response to any specific Taliban dominance, but a necessary step to address the evolving security situation. He stated that the decision was made with the consensus of the Prime Minister, all four Chief Ministers, the Army Chief, and other key stakeholders.

Asif acknowledged that the operation is based on intelligence and not a knee-jerk reaction to any particular incident. He also highlighted that the situation is not as dire as it was previously, when entire areas were under the control of terrorists. He acknowledged the presence of BLA activity in certain areas of Balochistan and Dera Ismail Khan, but stressed that these are localized and limited to nighttime operations.

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Khawaja Asif

azm e istehkam