Pakistan’s Solution To Everything Out Of Line: Call The Army

Sources reveal that the Imran Khan-led government has formed a committee to lead talks with the JUI-F Chief and opposition parties. If these talks fail, the government may deploy the army to protect public life and property.

Army

The PTI-led government has begun conceiving a strategy to combat the Azadi March led by JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Sources reveal that the government is weighing the options of calling the armed forces to handle the situation in the federal capital.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman has decided to begin his march on Islamabad on October 31 with the agenda of “toppling the PTI government”, accusing the government of assuming power through rigged elections. All the major opposition parties, including PML-N, ANP, PPP and PKMAP have pledged their support to join the protests.

Calling Army to Handle Situation

Sources reveal that the government has formed a committee to hold talks with Fazlur Rehman, however, if the talks fail to garner success, the government is pondering the option to call the army under the Article 245 of the Constitution.

The meeting on the law and order situation was held at the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s personal residence in Bani Gala, and the leaders deliberated over multiple alternatives to counter the Azadi March.

Read more: Fazal Ur Rehman- Fighting for Islam or Islamabad?

A committee has been formed, headed by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak, including Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, Noorul Haq Qadri and Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani, to hold talks with the JUI-F Chief Fazlur Rehman and other opposition leaders.

All participants agreed upon the fact holding a peaceful protest is a democratic right belonging to every Pakistani citizen. However, they observed that no one can be allowed to take the federal capital under siege. The state will perform its obligation of protecting public life and property.

During the meeting, the Premier also discussed security arrangements of sensitive government buildings and foreign embassies. All stakeholders agreed upon the government’s decision to hold talks with all opposition parties, including Maulana Fazlur Rehman. If the talks fail, the government will deploy army troops to safeguard government buildings and key installations.

However, the final decision to call the armed forces will be made by the Ministry of Interior. Responding to a question on the government’s response to tackle the Azadi March, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the government intends to diffuse the issue by engaging in dialogue with the opposition.

Read more: Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman terms the government a sham, demands CEC’s resignation

The Special Assistant on Broadcasting and Information said, “However if there is chaos disturbing the law and order situation in the capital, the government will make a decision as per the law to protect public life and property.”

The former governments had also deployed army troops during the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP)’s sit-in in November 2017, and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s sit-in protest in 2014. Under the Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the actions undertaken by the armed forces cannot be challenged in a court of law when they have been deployed to aid the civil administration in maintaining law and order.

Analysts observe that the Azadi March orchestrated by Maulana Fazlur Rehman is supported by “sponsors within and outside” the country, and it is likely to impact the law and order situation of the federal capital.

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