LAHORE - Announcing his party’s support for a military operation in North Waziristan against the militants, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said he will back military operation if it becomes clear that negotiated peace is not possible.
Talking to media persons on Saturday, Imran said, “We should also ponder over this vital fact that what would happen if operation fails to restore peace”.
He questioned, “This is obvious that a military operation would be launched if peace talks fail but what would happen if operation fails.”
PTI chairman stressed upon the urgent need of a ceasefire to make the peace dialogue successful and no halt in the talks’ process. He, however added, “We cannot accept any group’s killing in cold blood in the name of religion. There should be no militias within the boundaries of Pakistan and all militias will have to disarm.”
Imran remarked, “Peace should be given a sincere chance as the option of launching a military operation is always available with the government but if military operation fails we will be having no option. He, while saying that no haste should be made in drawing any conclusion about the peace talks, warned, “Massive collateral damage is expected to happen in case of military operation, besides the militants will disperse in all corners of the country, which can be a big blowback to cities. We should think, can we afford such a chaotic situation”.
Imran said, “I am anti-war, I do not believe in the military solutions. However when peace efforts fail, the last resort is always force”.
He said, “There are 43 militant groups operating under the umbrella of TTP of which 14 to 18 fall in the list of major factions and the remaining considered to be the smaller groups, while there are groups in TTP amalgam which are against the peace dialogue”.
However, he claimed, “Major groups of Taliban are supporting dialogue but there are few element who do not want peace”.
Imran claimed that US lobby in Pakistan wanted military operation in North Waziristan which he believed would prove counter-productive.
Equating the tribal region’s insurgency with former East Pakistan, Imran remarked that history had proved time and again that military operations never resolved the conflicting issues, whether the operations launched in East Pakistan, Balochistan or Sindh. PTI chairman said certain elements lobbying for military operation were saying that Taliban desired to change the existing system of governance in the country.
However, the Taliban have agreed that they would hold the dialogue within the ambit of the Constitution, which shows TTP accepts Pakistan’s laws.
Commenting over PPP and ANP demand for launching a military operation in North Waziristan, he questioned, “Why both the parties which were coalition partners, did not launch an operation during their tenure”.
Commenting on JUI-F chief remarks about peace talks, Imran said the people who abandoned their role for peace, have no credibility anymore as they almost remained part of every government.