26 Nov 2017/Sunday.
In an official response to the Interior Ministry of Pakistan government’s request for army’s assistance, the Army said that, it was prepared to cooperate in keeping with Article 245 of the Constitution. However, there are a “few aspects meriting deliberation“, before the Army takes over the reins. This conditional acceptance comes after much delay and accusing the government for inaction, such as how the “police has not been utilized to its full capacity” in dealing with the religious protesters.
It points out that “the Pakistan Rangers have not been given written instructions.”
The letter also highlights that the Army is not a force traditionally used to disperse crowds or protesters, adding that the terms of the military’s deployment in the twin cities need to be clarified in keeping with orders passed by the Supreme Court and the Islamabad High Court earlier this week.
Earlier, the Islamabad High Court, displeased with government inaction against the Faizabad protesters, had pointed out that the participants of the sit-in could be dispersed using options other than bullets.
Similarly, the SC on Thursday had said that the efforts of the government to avoid loss of life by refraining from launching its operation against protesters were commendable. However, “it does not mean that protesters can only be removed by firing upon them.”
Pakistan watchers, closely following the developments say that a response from the Army to country’s democratically elected government’s request by putting in conditions tantamount to insubordination by a most powerful instrument of the government. This is in stark contrast to Pakistan’s neighboring countries, where such refusals in the face of grave emergencies are un-heard of. Army’s delay tactics is being seen as a precursor and setting the stage for coup. Judiciary’s extra constitutional role by putting in conditions of “Do’s and Don’ts” with its diktat to the civilian government, is being seen as an added advantage to Army in legitimizing the removal of a democratically elected government of Pakistan. Surprisingly the Pak Army has not made any public statements about its position on the subject so far. The stage looks set for another Coup. Let’s wait and watch the drama unfolding.