Apex committee decides to expand Punjab operation well into KP and Balochistan


LAHORE: The Punjab Apex Committee, during a meeting on Friday, decided to expand the scope of the operation in the province.

The meeting, which lasted over four days, was briefed by different security agencies on the result and impact of the previous Punjab operations they had conducted.

On Friday, it was decided to widen the jurisdiction of the paramilitary force’s operations to other provinces of the country, especially Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

The meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, was informed that previous Punjab operations had successfully resulted in militants being taken down in ‘smaller provinces’ of the country. On Saturday, a day after the meeting, 100 suspects had been arrested from KP alone as the Punjab operation enters its decisive face.

“The decision to expand the Punjab operation into smaller provinces will have decisive impact,” says a senior Punjab Rangers official in-charge of the checkpost on the Peshawar-Charsadda road exit. “We would need to focus on KP and Balochistan on war footing to ensure that the Punjab operation is as successful as all other operations that we’ve conducted.”

A Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) official who attended the meeting says all law enforcement agencies have been strictly ordered to launch an indiscriminate operation against militants. “We are going to target people living in KP and Balochistan, and those looking like they live in KP and Balochistan, without any discrimination whatsoever,” he said.

Furthermore, the Punjab Apex Committee meeting has decided to monitor all movement and secure the Punjab-Afghanistan border. Officials believe the move will ensure that terrorists’ backbones are already broken by the time they enter Punjab.