Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Saturday demanded of the government to inform the nation if it intends to start a military operation in North Waziristan Agency (NWA). In a press release issued here, he repeated his condemnation of the attack against the military personnel in NWA which led to the martyrdom of five soldiers.
However, he said, if the military had intended to respond with an attack it should have cleared the area of women and children at least before they bombed Mir Ali through helicopter gunships and artillery. He said that civilians, especially women and children have been innocent victims of drone attacks and now military action is causing more suffering on these innocent victims of a war they are not responsible for. "We cannot regard our women and children of Fata with the callousness and unconcern that is presently being displayed towards them by the state of which they are citizens", he added.
Khan reminded that since Fata is directly under the President, it is unfathomable why he remains silent on the plight of the people of Fata in the wake of curfews and military attacks. He demanded the President act to alleviate the suffering of the women and children, especially by providing immediate food supplies and medical assistance as well as protection against military action.
He also pointed out that an incremental increase in military action will lead to a large scale military operation with revenge attacks and ensuing increase in chaos, militancy and terrorism. He said that already local people as well as Parliamentarians from the area are claiming that those killed in the military operations are primarily civilians. "In addition hundreds of people are being displaced as well as suffering food shortages because of the imposed curfew." It is also now a recognised fact that in Fata those who lose family members to drone attacks and military action turn to militancy.
The PTI chairman asserted that the government must not only take control and bear responsibility for any planned military operation in NWA, it must inform all the political parties that it has abandoned the APC mandate for dialogue and an end to drones.
"Military operations in one's own country do not resolve problems; instead they exacerbate them and the same will happen if a military operation is launched in NWA. Already there are reports of people fleeing the area and civilians being killed. With no civilian control or responsibility the country will be further destabilised, divided and weakened which is what our detractors are seeking. Our history should teach us the human and political costs to the nation of military operations," Khan concluded.-PR