'Instability operation' Azm-e-Istehkam to undermine country: Fazl

JUI-F chief censures Shehbaz Sharif saying he is not prime minister but just sitting on throne

By Web Desk
June 24, 2024
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses the press conference on June 24, 2024 in this still taken from a video. — YouTube/GeoNews

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has denounced the military operation, Azm-e-Istehkam, to root out militancy from the country, saying that it is rather an "instability" operation which will further weaken Pakistan.

The anti-terrorism operation was announced on Saturday as the government along with the military pledged to address the issue of rising militancy in the country.


However, the move was jointly rejected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's (PML-N) former ally the JUI-F and archrival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Addressing a press conference in Quetta on Monday, Fazl said the state had almost no writ in the country.

"Our history is about fighting against slavery. Did we achieve Pakistan to be the slaves of generals?" he asked.

Fazl, the former federal minister, said that the armed militant groups were openly controlling areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

"They [government] has announced the operation, Azm-e-Istehkam. It is rather a destabilising operation which would further weaken the country," he added.

The veteran politician asked why the country was being "undermined".

"Decisions would be made by uniformed individuals wherever they are present," the JUI-F chief said in a veiled jibe at Saturday's meeting of the Central Apex Committee on the National Action Plan (NAP).

Continuing his criticism of the incumbent government, Fazl, who was the chief of PML-N and JUI-F's former alliance with other political parties — the Pakistan Democratic Movement — said that Prime Minister "Shehbaz Sharif is not the premier, he is only sitting on the throne".

The seasoned politician went on to say that "allying is good but it should be under a mutual understanding", as he referred to the potential coalition between JUI-F and Imran Khan-founded PTI following their consensus on playing the role of a united opposition in the National Assembly and constituting a political committee to address various issues between them and formulate a political strategy.

"We are not opposing any alliance as the process of political actors' consultations should continue," he added.