Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Tuesday explicitly laid down the government’s expectations from the judiciary with regards to ‘Vision Azm-i-Istehkam’ — which has been dubbed a “reinvigorated and re-energised national counter-terrorism campaign” by the government — saying that the courts should not provide any relief to those arrested as part of this action.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the minister said: “The support of the judiciary, security forces, parliament and the media will be required for this operation. This is a national crisis, addressing which is not just the army’s responsibility, but all institutions.” He added that the judiciary should not provide any relief to those who are targeted in the operation.

The minister categorically said that there were no political motives behind the announced action, and stressed that the government would try to generate political consensus on it, as well as addressing the reservations voiced by the opposition parties.

Accusing those parties who had criticised the planned action of doing so for the sake of their ‘vote bank’, he called on the PTI, JUI-F and Awami National Party (ANP) to take a stand for the nation, not merely for votes, and asked them not to indulge in politics on this issue.

“We will try to create consensus and address the reservations of the PTI, JUI-F and ANP,” he said, adding: “We only want to end the rising wave of terrorism that has arisen over the past few months”.

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