ISLAMABAD - The National Assembly (NA) on Monday with majority of votes passed a resolution expressing full support for the decision of the government to launch the military operation by armed forces against militants in tribal areas.
The final nod for the operation in shape of resolution was given when not more than 35 lawmakers of political factions were present in the House. The resolution was passed at the fag end of around six hours long proceedings. The two religio-political parties including Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), which is also a coalition partner of PML-N-led federal government, and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) did not support the military operation.
The resolution signed by major political parties except JUI-F and JI says: "The house expresses its fullest support for the decision of the government to launch the military operation by our valiant armed forces against militants in the tribal areas who are using the sacred soil of this country for their nefarious ends, including attacks on security forces and law enforcing agencies and public and private properties, resulting in tragic deaths and injuries to thousands of military personnel and innocent civilians and colossal damage to the economy."
"This House calls upon the federal and provincial governments to provide all necessary assistance to the affected families who will be displaced by the military operation till they are able to return to their homes," says the resolution, expressing a resolve to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the armed forces till final victory.
It added that this would not only restore peace and tranquility in the region, but also lead to its rapid socio-economic development and prosperity of the people, which is the earnest desire of the house.
Earlier, the political parties from treasury and opposition benches soon after the announcement of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for an operation in NWA strongly criticised the PM for not taking them into confidence before taking a big decision.
However, the major political factions supporting the decision of PML-N government also asked about the offshoots of military operation including resettlement of local community, camps and food arrangement of IDPs, future strategy etc.
The largest opposition party, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), with its support to incumbent government registered complaint for not taking it into confidence. "The government should firmly stand on his stance about launching an operation against terrorists in NWA and should not go for any other thing till the end," said Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Shah. He called upon the government to remain firm after launching this step and believed that the operation should have started six moths earlier.
Hinting at the arrival of Tahirul Qadri, PTI's and AML chief protests, Shah also suggested the government not to create hurdles in the way of protest by any political party.
Taking the floor, PTI Chairman Imran Khan also registered protest for not taking political parties into confidence. "I support armed forces on it, but I register protest for not being taken on board," he said, adding that this should have been the first priority of the government. Commenting on dialogue process between the government and TTP, he said dialogue should be given proper leadership. "We got this news from TV that operation has started," he said and slightly raised objection over announcement through ISPR. He also prayed for peace in the country.
"Does it happen in democratic country that ISPR announces the launch of military operation where chief executive has the authority to announce it?" Khan asked.
The MQM lawmaker Farooq Sattar fully supported the military operation with the same objection for not taking the opposition parties into confidence. "It is wise decision but the PM should have taken nation into confidence," he said, adding that there was a need to uproot terrorism and extremism.
Taking the floor, JI lawmaker Sahibzada Tariq ullah strongly criticised the prime minister for leaving the house without listening to the thoughts of opposition parties. "He has made mockery of this house," he said, commenting that although operation has started yet last resort is dialogue.
The JUI-F expressed reservations over the start of operation in NWA. "Operation is not the solution, as APC should be convened on it," said Maulana Ameer Zaman.
PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai also criticised the government for not taking political parties into confidence.
Earlier, Defence Minister Khwaja Asif and Minister for Planning and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal clarified that Prime Minister had to address the Senate so he left the house.