ISLAMABAD - Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan has said that he will support proposed military operation in militants-infested North Waziristan if the nation is assured that military action alone would help restore peace to area.
“There should be a military operation against those Taliban factions who do not acknowledge the country’s Constitution but before that we need to separate such Taliban groups from those to whom we can bring back on track by holding negotiations and dialogues,” Khan said while addressing a news conference after chairing party’s political and strategic committee meeting here at the party’s central office.
Khan said there was no harm in use of force in troubled areas but only when if it was made part of a larger political strategy aimed to return normalcy in tribal areas, as military action alone could not yield desired result.
He claimed that PTI was the only party present on the country’s political spectrum, which had a crystal clear political strategy to cope with militancy-related issues in the country. “Peace is only possible if both the options, negotiations and the use of force, are exercised collectively.”
During the news conference, Imran Khan commended the Army for conducting successful military operations in Swat and South Waziristan and in the same breath he criticised the incumbent elected government for not taking concrete measures for sustainable peace in those areas after the use of force.
“Army is present in Swat because political forces remained failed to exercise any comprehensive political strategy in continuation of army action,” Khan said.
“We have done our part of job and now it is the responsibility of political forces to devise future course of action for sustainable peace in areas where option of force is used,” Khan quoted
Army Chief General Kiyani as saying during All Parties Conference held last year.
Khan said that in the backdrop of that statement he (Imran) had offered the PPP-led coalition government that he could play a role of bridge between the government and militants.
“I offered the government that I can play a role of mediator between militants and the Pakistani government.
Militants were ready to hold negotiations but the government did not respond to my offer,” Khan lamented.
Imran strongly criticised the incumbent regime and political parties in opposition saying political forces lack the will required to resolve militancy-related issues in the country.
He said that PTI had been pursuing ‘policy of peace’ since day first and as part of that policy we carried out rallies in Karachi, Quetta and South Waziristan.
Imran said that around 140,000 Pakistani troops had been engaged in trouble areas for the past eight years but result is in front of all us.
He said that after fighting nearly a decade in Afghanistan the US had acknowledged that use of power was not a permanent solution to that problem and now they were swiftly advancing towards holding negotiations with warring tribes.
He reiterated that Pakistan should detach itself from US waged war on terror if the country really wanted to get rid of menace of terrorism.
Imran Khan complained that some quarters had continuously been wrongly interpreting our stance over brutal attack on three teenaged Swat girls in a bid to pass an impression if he (Imran) was pro-Taliban.
“Soon after the incident I visited the family of Malala Yousufzai and condemned attack in strong words at all available forums. PTI is against all sort of terrorism,” Khan maintained.