Islamabad: In a U-turn, former cricketer Imran Khan`s party today said it would support the military operation against Pakistani Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.
The decision was taken in the core committee meeting of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party attended by senior party leaders. After the meeting the party announced that it would stand with the army.
The decision came after last week`s statement by Khan that any operation in North Waziristan will be "suicidal".
Khan supported a negotiated solution of the militancy and opposed the use of force to eliminate the militants who according to Defence Minister Khawaja Asif have killed more than 50,000 people in over 10 years of violence.
The PTI`s support means that the operation is now being opposed only by the Jamaat-i-Islami, the right-wing Islamist party which is the coalition partner of PTI in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province which borders the militancy-infested tribal region.
Pakistan launched a full-fledged military operation against militants based in North Waziristan yesterday, a week after the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the brazen attack at Karachi airport last week which killed 37 people, including 10 terrorists.