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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Operation Azm-e-Istehkam: Here’s all you need to know

The Prime Minister emphasized that operations against terrorists would be intelligence-based.

On Tuesday, the federal cabinet approved the decisions made by the National Action Plan’s Central Apex Committee, including the launch of Operation Azm-e-Istehkam, sources informed Geo News.

According to these sources, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif assured that citizens would not be inconvenienced during the operation, and their homes would not be raided. The Prime Minister emphasized that operations against terrorists would be intelligence-based.

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This decision follows the Apex Committee’s approval last Saturday of a reinvigorated national counter-terrorism effort aimed at intensifying actions against militants targeting Pakistan.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) stated that the new counter-terrorism initiative was approved with the consensus of all stakeholders, including the provinces, Gilgit Baltistan (GB), and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

However, opposition parties such as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam Fazl (JUI-F), and Awami National Party (ANP) have expressed concerns, demanding that parliament be consulted before any such decision is implemented.

In response, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif assured that the government would address the concerns of the PTI and other opposition parties regarding the military operation. He stated that the government would work to build consensus among all parties, providing ample time for discussion and addressing any questions or concerns satisfactorily.

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To clarify the situation, the PMO issued a statement on Monday, dispelling misconceptions and asserting that no large-scale military operation is being planned. The statement explained that the newly announced Azm-e-Istehkam vision should not be compared to previous kinetic operations like Zarb-e-Azb and Rah-e-Najaat, which involved displacing terrorists from no-go areas and required mass displacement of local populations.

The government emphasized that no such no-go areas exist anymore, as the capacity of terrorist entities to conduct large-scale organized operations within Pakistan has been significantly diminished by previous efforts. Thus, no large-scale military operation involving population displacement is being considered.

The PMO described Operation Azm-e-Istehkam as a multi-domain, multi-agency, whole-of-system national vision aimed at achieving enduring stability in Pakistan.