Imran Khan Affirms PTI’s Participation in APC Despite Concerns Over Azm-e-Istehkam

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) founder, Imran Khan, announced on Friday that his party will participate in the upcoming all-parties conference (APC) despite reservations about the government's new anti-terrorism initiative, Operation Azm-e-Istehkam. Speaking to reporters outside Rawalpindi's Adiala Jail, where he is currently detained, Khan emphasized the need to hear the government's side of the story.

"My party will attend the all-parties conference and listen to what the government has to say," Khan stated. He expressed concerns that the operation might lead to further instability in the country, highlighting the PTI's apprehensions regarding the new counter-terrorism efforts.

The APC, organized by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, aims to gain political parties’ confidence in the newly announced Operation Azm-e-Istehkam. This operation is a reinvigorated and intelligence-based national counter-terrorism drive intended to address the rising terrorism threat in Pakistan.

Recent reports from Geo News revealed that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has decided to call the APC to discuss the counter-terrorism strategy with political parties. The date for the conference has yet to be announced. This initiative follows the federal cabinet's approval of the operation, based on the recommendations from the National Action Plan's Central Apex Committee, which seeks to intensify efforts against militants targeting Pakistan.

Despite the government's assurances, opposition parties, including PTI, Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam Fazl (JUI-F), Awami National Party (ANP), and others, have voiced their concerns. They demand that parliament be consulted and taken into confidence before any large-scale military operation is launched. The opposition fears that the operation, if misunderstood, could be compared to previous large-scale kinetic operations like Zarb-e-Azb and Rah-e-Nijaat.

In response to these criticisms, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) clarified that no large-scale military operation is currently planned. "The recently announced vision for enduring stability, named Azm-e-Istehkam, is being erroneously misunderstood," read a statement from the PMO on June 24. The statement emphasized that previous operations had significantly reduced the ability of terrorist entities to conduct large-scale organized attacks within Pakistan.

The federal government further assured that there are no no-go areas in the country, and the current initiative focuses on intelligence-based operations to maintain national stability. The clarification aims to address the misconceptions and ensure that the public and political entities understand the operation's true nature.

As the APC approaches, the PTI's participation highlights its commitment to engaging in national security discussions despite its reservations. Imran Khan's warnings about potential instability underscore the need for thorough deliberations and a unified approach to counter-terrorism efforts in Pakistan.

The APC's outcome will be crucial in shaping the country's future counter-terrorism strategies and ensuring that all political stakeholders are on the same page. The government's ability to address opposition concerns and provide clear, transparent communication about Operation Azm-e-Istehkam will be vital in achieving lasting stability and security for Pakistan.

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