Imran Khan says PTI to participate in APC despite concerns over Operation Azm-e-Istehkam



RAWALPINDI: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder Imran Khan said Friday that his party would participate in the all-parties conference (APC) in which the government is expected to take political parties into confidence over Operation Azm-e-Istehkam.

“My party will participate in the all-parties conference and hear what the government has to say,” the PTI founder told reporters as he appeared in a case at Rawalpindi’s Adiala jail, where he is imprisoned.

The PTI founder, while noting that his party has reservations over the new anti-terrorism action, said it would “only lead to further instability” in the country.

With terrorism on the rise, the government has launched a reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism drive, which would be intelligence-based operations’ focused.

Khan’s comments came after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to organise an APC “to gain political parties’ confidence” in newly announced Operation Azm-e-Istehkam.

PM Shehbaz will hold consultations to decide on the date of the APC, the sources said, adding that the date would be announced later.

The federal cabinet last week approved the launching of the counter-terrorism operation following the National Action Plan’s Central Apex Committee’s recommendations to turn up the heat on militants targeting Pakistan.

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

In response to the criticism, the PMO had 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 on June 24.

The federal government had further 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.