According to ISPR statement, ‘Pak Army is committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations’
The military’s top brass has reaffirmed their support to democracy and stressed the need of finding a peaceful political solution of the current stand-off between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), whose supporters are battling police on the roads of the federal capital, resulting in three deaths and injuries to over 500 others as clashes continued during the night.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif presided over the conference held at General Headquarters (GHQ) on Sunday which lasted for about four hours.
According to Inter-Services Public Relations, the conference expressed serious concern over the existing political crisis and the violent turn it has taken, resulting in large scale injuries and loss of lives.
“The Army remains committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations,” the press release stated.
General Raheel Sharif took the commanders into confidence over his meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, PTI chief Imran Khan and PAT chief Tahirul Qadri held last week.
“Further use of force will only aggravate the problem,” the military said in a statement at the conclusion of the conference.
“It was once again reiterated that the situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means,” the ISPR statement said.
The critical meeting, which was scheduled to be held on Monday morning, was pushed up to Sunday in light of rapidly unfolding events.
The meeting of the army commanders has a serious bearing on the prevailing scenario, given the fact that the military had engaged in ‘facilitating’ the talks process between the government and PAT and PTI leaderships.
IT’S TIME FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ACT:
Commenting on the situation, political commentator Dr Riffat Hussain said that if immediate measures were not taken by the government to defuse situation, things could aggravate. He said that the government must take some initiative to resolve the political impasse as Khan had already given a call for nationwide protests.
“The corps commanders’ statement is clear and asks immediate action to defuse the situation. Now it’s a clear message to the government,” he said, adding that government’s credibility had suffered a great damage and no politician was ready to trust the prime minister.
He said that during 17-day sit-ins Khan and Qadri had assured their supporters of not budging from PM’s resignation demand. He said that if now they go home without resignation of the PM, their political credibility would also suffer a huge dent because their supporters had suffered injuries and deaths.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Brig (r) Asad Munir said that the army’s thinking was clear that they wanted the government not to use force anymore and rather talk to the protesting parties without wasting time.
“Already a lot of time has been wasted. It’s now up to the government to act,” he added.
Moreover, political commentator Wajahat S Khan said that though the army’s top leadership had resolved to keep supporting democratic process in the country, they had also made it clear to the government that the armed forces would never fall short of the “national aspirations”.
Elaborating his point, he said that by not falling short of the national aspirations clearly hinted that the army would stand by the popular sentiments of the people at large and not the government.