ISLAMABAD. Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Monday endorsed the military operation underway in North Waziristan, the party's deputy secretary general and media advisor to PTI chairman told Dawn.com.
Imran Ismail said that in a core committee meeting in the capital, Imran Khan maintained that the party stands by the army and endorses the operation. However, he said the chairman expressed reservations regarding the government's failure to inform the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government prior to the announcement.
Last week, reiterating his party’s stance on peace talks with militants, Imran had said that an offensive in North Waziristan would unite militant forces against the Pakistani state.
"Conducting such a military operation when most of the groups in NWA want talks is suicidal," Imran said in a statement, adding that most groups in North Waziristan desire peace talks with the government.
He also criticised the US Congress' move to link aid to a military offensive in North Waziristan, terming the move as an effort by the US to “purchase” the government’s favour to carry out a military operation in the tribal region.
On Sunday, PTI MNA Arif Alvi expressed reservations against the government's announcement of the operation.
“Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) was not aware of this. We were not informed that a wide scale operation will be launched in North Waziristan,” PTI MNA Dr Arif Alvi said, adding that this is a ‘money for operation’ exchange.
He added that his party has always maintained that an operation of this scale will result in a large influx of refugees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where his party forms government. “The government should have told us so we could have prepared for this.”
He criticised the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) for what he said was a move to appease the US government which has linked aid to an operation of this nature.
“The PML-N government did not tell the public and the opposition why the talks failed. We do not know about the dimension of this operation.”
He also said that groups such as the Haqqani network have no war with Pakistan and are being isolated without reason. “Does the government want to burn all cards for the incoming government in Afghanistan?” He suggested that there should be a surgical and precise operation as a large scale strike would result in the death of innocents.
KP govt endorses action against militants unwilling to negotiate
Meanwhile, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa chief minister Pervez Khattak has endorsed action against the militant groups not willing to support dialogue and directed the law enforcement agencies to beef up security of the sensitive areas.
Khattak has also directed relief agencies to make arrangements for the internally displaced people of North Waziristan Agency.
A statement issued from the chief minister house says that Pervez Khattak has expressed his resolve that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf will fully support the armed forces at this critical juncture in history.
The chief minister also directed IDPS to be accommodated in government buildings if they are not willing to go to the camps.
The authorities have also been directed to enhance security and intelligence gathering in the cities bordering the tribal areas.
The chief minister also said thus far at least 62,000 tribesmen from North Waziristan have arrived in the settled areas of KP.
He said arrangements for their food, health and other facilities will be made after their registration.
Director Fata Disaster Management Authority Arshad Khan told Dawn.com that so far 4600 families have moved out of North Waziristan Agency according to the registration data. The authorities are also making arrangements for them.
Major military operations in Pakistan