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Army can itself arrest suspects behind Dawn Leaks: defence analyst

Defence Analyst Lieutenant General (retd) Amjad Shoaib on Monday said that army can itself arrest individuals named in the Dawn Leaks inquiry report or conduct an independent inquiry into the matter, ARY News reported.

Speaking exclusively to ARY News, the renowned defence analyst said that army has two options before it as far as Dawn Leaks is considered and one is directly picking the suspects involved in feeding the news to an English language daily and initiate an inquiry.

“This rift can end in five minutes if they (government) makes this inquiry report public and issue a notification according to recommendations, the other option is that army can pick the suspects named in the inquiry report and interrogate them,” said the former army man.

He added that army and security agencies can either pick those who are named in the inquiry report or those earlier named by the Inter Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s top intelligence agency.

When asked if political government can object to such an inquiry, the defence analyst maintained that the government cannot stop the army in this case as it is a matter of national security.

He was answering host Kashif Abbasi’s question over what options the army and security agencies have before them if government stays put and does not issue a new notification regarding Dawn Leaks.

The former general, however, clarified that army will not “touch” this government.

“Even today, if our prime minister orders army to take an action under Article 245 of the constitution, army will obey, but when they will see that they are not sincere with the national security, they will take a stand,” said the defence analyst.

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Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan

245. Functions of Armed Forces.- 1[(1)] The Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the Federal Government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.

(2) The validity of any direction issued by the Federal Government under clause (1), shall not be called in question in any Court.

(3) A High Court shall not exercise any jurisdiction under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the Armed Forced of Pakistan are, for the time being, acting in aid of civil power in pursuance of Article 245:

Provided that this clause shall not be deemed to affect the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of any proceeding pending immediately before the day on which the Armed Forces start acting in aid of civil power.

(4) Any proceeding in relation to an area referred to in clause (3) instituted on or after the day the Armed Forces start acting in aid of civil power and pending in any High Court shall remain suspended for the period during which the Armed Forces are so acting.

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