DG ISPR Major General Saleem Bajwa tweeted on Friday evening that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif was asked by the government to play facilitative role for resolution of current impasse.
DG ISPR Bajwa said the decision was taken during the meeting held at the PM House on Thursday.
The revelation once again added more problem to the incumbent government as it is trying hard to end the deadlock. The political arena representing a total chaotic scenario in the backdrop of late Thursday night meeting of the PAT as well PTI chief Imran Khan meeting with the Chief of the Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. Both the protesting parties’ chiefs claimed that the army has offered mediation to end the crises.
Before the meeting, it was reported that the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has sought General Raheel’s help to end the deadlock.
But Friday, the Prime Minister told the House that the government did not ask COAS’ help or mediation. Heated debates were witnessed over the issues of the army intervention in the political deadlock. The Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif flatly refused seeking army assistance for solution of the stalemate claiming that it was Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan who requested a meeting with the COAS General Raheel Sharif. PM maintained that he permitted the army chief to engage Imran Khan as well Dr Qadri and play the role of mediator. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan also justified the military’s involvement as the only option out of the deadlock.Ch Nisar lamented that the protesting groups were unwilling to accept any other institution’s offered solutions arguing that both the protesting parties were not ready to trust the judiciary, opposition parties; lawyers, tribunals – if they do not trust anyone what option did the government have? “Interior minister also assured the House that this step was taken on a request by the protesting parties…the government allowed this facilitation, it should not be interpreted beyond that”.
The opposition parties in the house criticized the government’s move to involve the military in the ongoing political crisis, Leader of the Opposition; Syed Khurshid Shah pledged the opposition’s continued support to the government saying the ISPR must clarify the details of the army chief’s meetings with Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri.
The parliamentary parties were perturbed over the army involvement. Khursheed Shah maintained that the meeting created an impression that PM had succumbed to the pressure of PAT and PTI. Shah appeared to be very angry as he told the House that some PPP’s MPs even cried over the uncertainty that developed as a result.
The stance of the other parliamentary parties’ leaders was also similar .They termed the development very alarming and supported Khursheed Shah for seeking clarification from ISPR. Syed Khurshid Shah came hard on the protesting parties by telling them if they want to burn the parliament house, SC building, they can but his party would not accept any unconstitutional demand at any cost. He in loud and clear words told the House that he is not siding with any particular person or party but wanted to save the democratic system. He also asked PM not to quit the post as it being demanded by the protesting parties. He maintained that the PTI and PAT demands seeking resignation of PM is totally unconstitutional and PPP would resist any such move.
Now the government appeared to be in defensive position. The parliamentary parties’ leadership was not the only one who criticized the government. The PTI senior leader Javed Hashmi was also angry on the development. He lamented his party chief’s decision for accepting mediation by the army. He termed it as a blow to democratic forces. He said the politicians should have resolved the issue instead of accepting army’s mediation. Now the protesting parties are again exerting pressure on the Prime Minister to step down in the larger interest of the country. Though the parliamentary parties have assured the Prime Minister all out support but still these parties are criticizing the PM for not taking them into confidence over the very issue. The government is being proposed to create a post of acting PM by introducing the amendments in the constitution. It was also being suggested that the judicial commission should be formed to probe in to the rigging. The parliamentary parties are asking the government to call joint session of the parliament in order to resolve the issue as per the constitution.
While both the protesting parties are not ready to hold any sort of dialogue with the government until the resignation of the Prime Minister, the government has ruled out any possibility of accepting the very demand arguing that the agenda of the protesting parties was not only undemocratic but against the state as well.
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