LAHORE - Senior lawyers yesterday said military operation in the Punjab was a right decision of the army, asserting it would bring a positive change and terming non-implementation of National Action Plan failure of the governments.

Talking to The Nation, Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Barrister Ali Zafar yesterday said the governments should enforce National Action Plan to fight terrorism. He lauded the decision on the military operation in the Punjab, saying it would wipe out terrorists and help establish peace.

Judicial Activism Panel Chairman Advocate Azhar Siddique said it was a lawful decision which would eradicate terrorism. He said the Constitution was amended for this purpose. “Pak Army’s operation is under Protection of Pakistan Act and it is absolutely right while police are not part of this,” said Azhar.

Dr Hayat Kalasan said police are corrupt; they have failed to maintain peace. He said military operation in the Punjab would bring a positive change. Advocate Sheeba Qaisar said it was a requirement of Protection of Pakistan Act. She hoped it would establish peace because police were doing nothing. “Karachi is now peaceful as a result of the military operation,” contended Ms Qaisar.

On March 28, Army Chief General Raheel Sharif ordered intelligence-based operations against terrorists in the Punjab. He made it clear that these operations would not be “joint actions” as conducted in the past along with the police and provincial intelligence agencies.

The operations which the COAS is personally monitoring are conducted by army units, paramilitary Rangers, Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence personnel.

Hours after the blast in Lahore which left 72 people dead and 370 injured, Gen Raheel chaired a high-level meeting in Rawalpindi, which was also attended by the chiefs of ISI and MI. During the meeting, the army chief ordered crackdown against militants with the focus on finding linkages and perpetrators of the attack.

Subsequently, the military conducted several raids in Lahore, Faisalabad, Muzaffargarh and other cities. One of the operations reportedly lasted over five hours and yielded several arrests.