ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s decision to deploy the army in Islamabad under Article 245 of the Constitution is in effect from today, with the military mandated to aid civilian law-enforcement agencies in securing the capital for the next three months.
Five companies of the army have been deployed in various parts of Islamabad to secure main offices of the judiciary, Parliament House, Presidency and Prime Minister Houses, foreign missions, foreign office and other important installations, sources said.
One army company was deployed at Margalla Hills and on the road that connects the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Islamabad, they added.
According to the security plan, the army would work in close coordination with the police, Rangers and administration for ensuring fool proof security for Islamabad.
However, the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) has decided to take up the matter in the National Assembly session starting from August 4.
Perceptions regarding army’s deployment
It is being largely deemed that the government is calling for military assistance as it is apparently panicking in the face of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) upcoming long march on Independence Day.
An interior ministry spokesperson had elaborated that the capital was not being ‘handed over’ to the army and in fact a contingent from the military would assist the police and civil administration at sensitive installations and serve as a rapid response force.
Earlier, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed had downplayed the impression that the decision had anything to do with the upcoming PTI long march.
The PTI has rejected the government’s decision to invoke the article and a statement issued by the party's central information secretary had stated that resorting to Article 245 signals an admission of failure to govern.
Meanwhile, the PPP has been strongly opposing the decision to deploy the army in the capital, saying summoning the army under the said article has ‘grave implications for political stability and civil-military relations in the country.
More on this: Article 245: questions remain