Azm-e-Istehkam being erroneously compared with earlier operations: PM Office

The Prime Minister's Office late on Monday released a statement stating that

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister’s (PM) Office late on Monday released a statement stating that “no large scale military operation is being” considered following the approval of Operation Azm-e-Istehkam on Saturday by Shehbaz Sharif’s government.

The PM Office issued the statement to “clear up misunderstandings” about the counter-insurgency operation titled “Azm-e-Istehkam”.

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The statement stressed that it was different from past military actions such as Zarb-e-Azb and Rah-e-Nijaat. Previous insurgencies were launched to physically remove terrorists from areas where they had taken control, leading to large-scale displacement of local people.

Meanwhile, Azm-e-Istehkam is focused instead on achieving long-term stability in Pakistan through a “comprehensive approach” involving different government agencies. It will build on the “Revised National Action Plan”, which was agreed upon by politicians from across the political spectrum.

The statement said that the goal of the current operation is to strengthen ongoing efforts to root out terrorists who remain hidden and to “break the connections” between crime and terrorism.

It also aims to combat violent extremism using political, diplomatic, legal, and information strategies alongside the work of law enforcement agencies.

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The statement went on to state that there are no longer any areas in Pakistan where terrorists have free rein, thanks to earlier military operations. Azm-e-Istehkam, meanwhile, will build on the previously achieved gains and ensure a safe environment where Pakistan can grow “economically” and “prosper”.

The federal government said it wanted to make it “clear” that Azm-e-Istehkam is a broad strategy involving multiple aspects of governance and security. Its goal is to achieve lasting stability by using intelligence-based operations and strategic initiatives different various fields.

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