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Govt asked COAS to play role of facilitator, says ISPR

30 August, 2014

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RAWALPINDI: According to a tweet posted at the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) website, its Director General Major General Asim Saleem Bajwa Friday said "the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif was asked by the government to play facilitative role for resolution of the current (political) impasse."

General Bajwa tweeted on Friday evening that Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif was asked by the government to play facilitative role for the resolution of current impasse. Bajwa said the decision was taken during the meeting held at the PM House on Thursday.

The tweet of the DG ISPR flashed on the social media says "#COAS was asked by the Govt to play facilitative role for resolution of current impasse, in yesterday's meeting, at #PM House". Earlier in the day a heated debate was witnessed in the National Assembly over the issue of the army intervention in the political deadlock. PM Nawaz refused seeking army assistance for solution of the stalemate.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Friday categorically stated that the government had not asked army to play the role of a mediator, saying it was being wrongly propagated, rather it asked it to be a facilitator to end the current political impasse.

"Imran Khan and Dr Qadri are just exaggerating the details of their meeting with army chief and are wrongly giving the impression of army's role as a mediator," the interior minister contended. "Pakistan is passing through a critical phase, and unconstitutional demands are being made for changing the present democratic system," he said.

Addressing the press conference at Punjab House Islamabad, Nisar dismissed the impression that the last meeting of army chief General Raheel Sharif with PTI chief Imran Khan and PAT leader Tahirul Qadri were held on government's desire.

"Neither the army requested to mediate nor we asked them for it," he said. "I received a phone call from the Pakistan Army on Thursday, saying Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri desire to meet army chief and the permission of the prime minister was sought," Nisar informed. The army, the interior minister contended, was playing its constitutional role, as it had earlier given a loud and clear message through the ISPR of protecting the national buildings on the Constitution Avenue as Article 245 had already been imposed in Islamabad. "We should not put the army in a test".

He said the PTI and PAT wanted to involve Pakistan Army in the country's politics. Both are using the name of Pakistan Army while the fact of the matter is that the army was neither interested in arbitration nor offered mediation, he added. Nisar said the agenda of the protesting parties was to do away with democracy through unconstitutional demands; adding that they wanted bloodshed at the Constitution Avenue. "The protesters do not have confidence on the country's institutions, including the election commission, election tribunals, lawyers' community, civil society, Supreme Court and political parties," he complained.

"Who can solve this (sit-in) issue? Should we should go to the UN, Canada or UK? We have registered the FIR on innocent people who are not involved in PAT workers' killing incident in Lahore. The outside world is enjoying the situation in Islamabad where some thousand people have besieged the capital of a nuclear power," the interior minister said.


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