Army wishes peaceful dialogue to end Islamabad sit-in but will abide by govt decision: ISPR chief

Army wishes peaceful dialogue to end Islamabad – Rawalpindi  sit-in but will abide by govt decision: ISPR chief

(Pakistan Press  Club)

ISLAMABAD (Pakistan Press News agency): Weighing in for the first time on the sit-in that has all but paralyzed the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for over two weeks, the military’s spokesperson said it would abide by the government’s decision on the matter.


In remarks released to the media on Wednesday night, Inter-Services Public Relations chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said that while it would be preferable to address the situation through peaceful means, the military would abide by whatever decision the government took.


Saying that the civil and military leaderships were on the same page when it came to the country’s security, he said that the army was duty-bound to carry out the government’s instructions.

ISPR chief

ISPR chief

The military spokesperson’s remarks came after Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah advised the government to seek assistance from the armed forces to end the sit-in that was causing great inconvenience to the people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.


“As many as two million people have been held hostage by these protesters. The government should use its constitutional powers to seek assistance from the armed forces of Pakistan [to end the sit-in],” Mr Shah said in a statement issued on Wednesday.


But despite two rounds of meetings, the government could not make any breakthrough in the deadlock with religious parties who are staging a sit-in at the Faizabad Interchange.


Lengthy consultations held at Punjab House and the PM Office dominated most of the day, as leaders scrambled to find a way to end the ongoing sit-in. The meetings were attended by top government and local administration officials, as well as politicians.


Sources told Dawn that one of the many proposals that came under discussion included the option of restraining Zahid Hamid from performing his duties

as law minister until the finalisation of the report of a committee led by Senator Raja Zafarul Haq. However, there was no official word on the outcome of these meetings.


Army wishes peaceful dialogue to end Faizabad sit-in: ISPR chief


The Pakistan Army is in favour of peaceful dialogue for putting an end to the protracted Faizabad Interchange sit-in, said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major Gen Asif Ghafoor Bajwa on Wednesday amid calls by the opposition for army’s intervention.


However, it was government’s prerogative what line of action it wanted to take on the issue, said the army’s media wing chief while speaking to ARY News.


Gen Ghafoor statement came following the suggestion of army’s intervention to settle the dispute by Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah. He said it was government’s constitutional right to call the army when in need.


Expressing Pak Army’s commitment to upholding the constitution, the general said the armed forces would not let anarchy prevail in the country, adding that the Pakistan Army had always worked for the welfare of the country and it would continue to do.


Gen Ghafoor said the army discouraged institutional conflicts as it made country wake; however, state’s safety outweighs all institutions.


It may be mention here that daily life in the capital has been paralysed for over two weeks now due to the protest of an alliance of religious parties, calling for the sacking of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and strict action against those behind the amendment to the Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause – which had earlier been deemed a “clerical error” and subsequently rectified.


The protesters have been occupying the Faizabad Interchange which connects Rawalpindi and Islamabad through the Islamabad Expressway and Murree Road.

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