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Jailed ex-Premier Khan opposes new military operation in Pakistan

Jailed ex-Premier Khan opposes new military operation in Pakistan

- Khan directed his party, provincial gov't not to become part of any military operation, says Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister
By Islamuddin Sajid

ISLAMABAD (AA) - Pakistan's former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday opposed any new military operation in the northwestern and southwestern parts of the South Asian country and directed his party to stand against it.

Ali Amin Gandapur, chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, met with incarcerated Khan in Adiala jail in the garrison city of Rawalpindi on Monday and discussed the latest political and security situation in the country.

"Imran Khan opposed any new military operation in any part of the country and he directed that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would not become part of any decision related to the new military operation," Gandapur told reporters outside the jail, after meeting Khan.

Khan, founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, is serving a jail term for alleged violation of the Islamic marriage law.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday announced the launch of a "reinvigorated" national counter-terrorism campaign to "eradicate extremism and terrorism from the country."

The decision was taken after a meeting of the country's top counter-terrorism body, known as apex committee, in the capital Islamabad where chief executives of all four provinces, besides Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, were present.

Gandapur, however, revealed that "no military operation was approved or discussed" during the apex committee meeting that was chaired by Sharif.

"No military operation was discussed in the apex committee meeting during my presence," he claimed.

The meeting was also attended by three armed forces chiefs.

Khan's PTI-backed members of parliament also rejected the operation Azm-e-Istehkam (determination for durability) and said they will "not allow anyone to bring war in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province."

The lawmakers staged a protest inside the parliament over the weekend and urged the government to take them into confidence on the issue.

"If you want to start any kind of operation, first take the Parliament into confidence. Khan Sahib has repeatedly said that Pakistan should not be involved in anyone's war; development is not possible without the rule of law and constitution in the country," PTI leader Omar Ayub Khan told reporters on Sunday.

However, Prime Minister Sharif said that the campaign will integrate and synergize multiple lines of effort to combat the menaces of extremism and terrorism comprehensively and decisively.

To fight the menace of terrorism, Pakistan launched several military operations since 2000, including Raddul Fasad and Zarb-e-Azb since 2014.

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