PM approves reinvigorated counter-terrorism campaign with launch of Operation Azm-e-Istehkam

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has approved a reinvigorated and re-energized national counter-terrorism campaign through launching of Operation Azm-e-Istehkam. The approval was granted during today's meeting of the Central Apex Committee on National Action Plan that was held in Islamabad with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in the chair. The decision was taken with consensus of all stakeholders including the Provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, symbolizing the national resolve to eradicate extremism and terrorism from the country. The forum conducted a comprehensive review of the ongoing counter-terrorism campaign and assessed the internal security situation. The progress on the multi-domain tenets of the National Action Plan was scrutinized, with particular emphasis on identifying shortcomings in the implementation for addressing the same at top priority. It underscored the necessity for a comprehensive and reinvigorated counter-terrorism strategy, founded on complete national consensus and system-wide synergy. Azm-e-Istehkam will integrate and synergize multiple lines of effort to combat the menaces of extremism and terrorism in a comprehensive and decisive manner. In the politico- diplomatic domain, efforts will be intensified to curtail the operational space for terrorists through regional cooperation. The renewed and full blown kinetic efforts of the armed forces will be augmented by full support from all Law Enforcement Agencies, empowered by effective legislation to address legal voids that hinder effective prosecution of terrorism-related cases and award of exemplary punishments to them. The campaign will be duly complemented by socioeconomic measures aimed at addressing genuine concerns of the people and creating an environment that discourages extremist tendencies. The information space will be leveraged to promote a unified national narrative in support of the campaign. The forum reiterated that the fight against extremism and terrorism is Pakistan's war and is absolutely ess ential for the nation's survival and well-being. The forum resolved that no one will be allowed to challenge the writ of the state without any exception. The forum also reviewed measures to ensure foolproof security for Chinese nationals in Pakistan. Following the Prime Minister's approval, new Standard Operating Procedures were issued to relevant departments, which will enhance mechanisms for providing comprehensive security to Chinese citizens in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said the personnel of armed forces have been rendering sacrifices in the war on terrorism and also registered successes which have no precedence. He however emphasized the armed forces are not solely responsible to fight this scourage. He said the federal and provincial governments as well as all the institutions will have to play their part. The Prime Minister held out a firm assurance to provide the necessary equipment and resources to the security forces in the fight against terrorism. The Prime Minis ter underlined the need for greater coordination and harmony amongst the institutions to achieve concrete results and ensure long term stability. Shehbaz Sharif noted that there should also be clarity of purpose in political and religious ranks in the war against terrorism. This is our war and we have to fight it to protect our future generations. He said we have to move forward with consensus and mutual consultation whilst rising above political differences to achieve our goal. Source: Radio Pakistan