General

Faizabad protest: Army responds to interior ministry’s request

In response to the interior ministry’s request regarding deployment of Army to deal with sit-in protestors in Faizabad, Lieutenant Colonel for Chief of General Staff Abid Mazhar stated that Pakistan Army is fully ready to perform the assigned task in line with its constitutional obligations but few aspects merit deliberation prior to employment of Army.
“While dealing with the protestors of TLYRA, police has not been optimally utilized to its full capability,” the document states, adding that “Pakistan Rangers, backing up to Police as 2nd tier force physically deployed with Police in Islamabad, have not been given written instructions as already agreed for their employment.”
It was further mentioned that employment of Army implies application of a force which is traditionally not just used for dispersal of crowd or protestors but to quell commotion.
The Army also referred to the Islamabad High Court judgment which restrains use of “Fire Arms’ during the clearance operation.
The interior ministry on Saturday issued a notification of deployment of army in the capital to deal with protestors of religious parties who are present in Faizabad on 21st day, demanding resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid over over amendment in Khatam-e-Nabuwwat clause in Elections (Amendment) Bill 2017. The government later termed it clerical msitake and the clause was restored to its original form last week.
The request for deployment of Army has come in less than 24 hours after police contingents began to coercively clear Faizabad Interchange and surroundings where protesters had camped in late October.