In an interview to a private TV channel, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief had said that PM Nawaz told him, in the presence of the then Chief of Army Staff, that there is a 40 per cent chance of success in case of a military operation against the Taliban.
During Friday’s meeting, the interior minister maintained that there should be no misconception in anybody’s mind about the capability and the strength of the armed forces of Pakistan. This capability has been proven time and again, especially with the two recent examples of targeted operations in Swat and Waziristan.
The government is earnestly pursuing the dialogue process as a genuine peace option, however, the armed forces are fully geared, equipped and motivated to ensure the security of the country in any corner of Pakistan once it is given the go-ahead by the government, he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif lauded the sacrifices of the armed forces and said that not only the government but the people of Pakistan also have full confidence in their capability, professionalism and commitment. He said that any statement, which compromises or affects the morale or the fighting spirit of the armed forces should be avoided at all costs.
The two leaders also discussed the capacity building of the law-enforcement agencies in Punjab and called for a greater cooperation and coordination between the federal and provincial governments.
Imran’s statement also rebuked in Senate
Senate’s Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq, too, rejected the remarks made by PTI Chairman Imran Khan and clarified that a meeting among PM Nawaz‚ former army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani‚ the interior minister and the PTI Chairman was held before the start of the all parties conference (APC).
“PTI Chief Imran Khan misquoted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former army chief Pervaiz Kayani while stating that there were 40% chances of success if an operation is started against militants,” he informed the Senate in response to a point of order, raised by Senator Raza Rabbani.
“I have got required information and reached the conclusion that statement of Imran Khan has no reality and is totally baseless. The PTI chief could not understand what the former army chief had said,” he added.
In the meeting, Zafarul Haq said, the former army chief had told Imran Khan that if the operation was launched by the government against militants, then 40% terrorism activities could be controlled immediately. The former army chief had also stated that the government should fully utilise the option of dialogue with militant groups. “We have full confidence in Pakistan Army who is capable to fight extremism and aggression against country. Their determination cannot be called in question,” he added.
The Leader of the House acknowledged that besides the personnel, the officers of Armed Forces have also rendered valuable sacrifices in the war against terrorism and embraced martyrdom in line of duty.
Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan welcomed Zafarul Haq’s statement and said whole nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the Armed Forces in their fight against terrorism.