Home Afghanistan PML-Q throws its weight behind moot on Azm-i-Istehkam

PML-Q throws its weight behind moot on Azm-i-Istehkam

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LAHORE / ISLAMABAD: Though the government still has to finalise the date for a multiparty moot being summoned to deliberate on the planned ‘Azm-i-Istekham’ operation, another political party — the Pakistan Muslim League (PML-Q) — threw its weight behind the proposed conference.

In an announcement on Saturday, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said his party would participate in the multiparty conference (MPC) on ‘Operation Azm-i-Iste­hkam’, calling the planned military campaign “inevitable” for the elimination of terrorism.

The veteran politician said Pakistan needed to improve relations with Afghanistan to establish peace in the country.

“Terrorism is an international problem and the countries need to join hands to eliminate this scourge from society,” he said in his statement.

PML-Q leader Shafay Hussain said only “joint efforts” could lead Pakistan to win the war against terrorism. “The PML-Q supports all efforts towards the establishment of peace in the country,” he added.

It may be noted that Azm-i-Istehkam is the latest in a series of counterterrorism operations conducted by the army since the mid-2000s. More recent operations include Zarb-i-Azb, launched in 2014 by then Gen Raheel Sharif in North Waziristan, and Raddul Fasaad, initiated in 2017 under the command of ex-Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to eliminate what was then described as residual terrorist threats.

‘Imran on parole’

On the other hand, former PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry, who parted ways with the party after the May 9 crackdown, proposed that ex-prime minister Imran Khan be released on parole for his participation in the MPC.

“If we are serious on the front against terrorism, Imran Khan’s participation in the event is a must,” the former federal minister said, claiming that Mr Khan and JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman have influence in Afghanistan. “There is and there could be no substitute to Imran Khan in the party.”

A day earlier, the PTI founder said his party would participate in the moot to discuss the military operation. The PTI issued a statement of Mr Khan on social media platform X, saying: “Our party will participate in APC [all-party conference] and will listen to the government`s position. Law and order is a national issue. We will participate in APC for the sake of the country.”

Talking to reporters on Friday, Mr Khan said PTI had concerns over Operation Azm-i-Istehkam, asserting it would only lead to an increase in instability in the country.

Separately, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also said his party would attend the conference. “The PPP has a clear and comprehensive policy on terrorism,” he said while addressing a press conference in Quetta on Friday.