Army Chief plays key role in mediation with Islamabad protesters
ISLAMABAD: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s crucial role as arbitrator is being praised across the country for breaking a three-week long stalemate between the government and protestors at the capital city’s Faizabad Interchange.
The positive signs began to emerge on Sunday after government failed to evict Faizabad Interchange, an arterial traffic intersection, from protestors and called in Pakistan Army for assistance to civil authorities to handle the chaotic situation in the federal capital in consequence of the crackdown.
Curtailing his visit to UAE, the army chief reached Pakistan on Saturday night amid tense situation in Islamabad after a botched crackdown.
During a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Sunday, Gen Bajwa proposed political negotiations with the protest leaders to settle the matter.
The COAS reportedly suggested that the force should not be used against the protestors; particularly in context of Pakistan Army troops’ deployment in the federal capital, as he said, the support for the army was a valuable asset and should not be used for petty gains.
On Saturday night, the desperate government called out the army to control the chaotic situation in Islamabad after a daylong botched operation to disperse protestors camping out at Faizabad Interchange.
The Ministry of Interior then issued a notification to authorize deployment of the Pakistan Army troops in the federal capital to assist civil authorities under Article 245 of the constitution.
Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYRA) has been protesting for three weeks, demanding action against those responsible for making now-withdrawn amendment to the clause pertaining to the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath for electoral candidates and the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid.
“If the government send the law minister packing, it would eventually set a wrong precedent,” the Interior Minister had said, adding, there was no proof that he was responsible for the amendment.
However, the law minister’s resignation was accepted on Monday to end the prolonged deadlock on the matter.
Lahore High Court Bar pays tribute to Army chief for positive role
President Lahore High Court Bar Zulfiqar Chaudhry paid tribute to the Army chief for playing positive role to settle the sit-in protest.
In a huddle of LHC Bar, the participants expressed apprehensions over political situation of the country and use of violence against participants of the protest.
“The government completely failed to resolve the crisis in Islamabad, however Pakistani Army’s interference resolved the issue amicably,” he said.