ISLAMABAD: As Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) protesters perisisted with their threats to march to Constitution Avenue, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday evening announced that the Pakistan Army has been given the responsibility of securing the federal capital’s sensitive Red Zone area.

"The constitution allows the army to be deployed under Articles 131 and 245 if there is a situation pertaining to internal security. We have not the called army against any political party… [it is] to protect the Red Zone which we have international obligations to fulfill. It [the army] is undertaking a constitutional internal security responsibility," Nisar said during a press conference here.

He also said that consulates had expressed fears to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, so MOFA had briefed them about the situation. "We told them the situation is under control. The deployment of army troops is a result of this."

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) has confirmed the development through a statement to the media.

"Contingents of Army have been deployed for the security of Red Zone," said the statement.


Army not orchestrating political crisis: Nisar


He dismissed speculations that the Pakistan Army was behind the whole long mach fiasco.

“I want to say this with full responsibility; the Pakistan Army is not behind this game," he said.

The minister said that after meeting with the armed forces and the law enforcing agencies for hours, it has been decided that security of the federal capital will be divide into three tiers.

“The Army will firstly guard vital installations, and other than that there will be deployment that I will not explain in detail,” said the interior minister.

"The Constitution allows the Army to be deployed under Article 131 and 245 if there is an internal threat pertaining to security ... We have not called the Army against any political party… [it is] to protect the Red Zone which we have international obligations to fulfill. It [the army] is undertaking a constitutional internal security responsibility."


'Imran not honouring promise to stay out of Red Zone'


The minister also lashed out at PTI chief Imran Khan for not honouring his promise to stay out of the federal capital’s Red Zone area. He said that Khan sent a personal message via text to him and gave his word that he will not move into the Red Zone.

“In response, I said without a moment’s hesitation and without consulting anybody that I will give this permission at once … Your word is enough for me.”

He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has discussed in detail with the federal cabinet and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leadership and has decided to extend an olive branch to the protesters once again.

Chaudhry Nisar then said, “The spirit in which we allowed them (PTI and PAT) to protest, and offered to negotiate, we are again inviting them to negotiate. Our committees made all out efforts to engage them in dialogue.”

He also pleaded to Imran to prevent people from entering into violence. "You were the champion of new politics. You had a majority of new voters. For God's sake leave ego aside...I have always been impressed by your [noble] intentions. But our political lives for the first time are at odds. A leader does not push people into violence, he take people towards new politics."

“The 2013 general elections were not conducted by us but by the caretakers … These demands do not fall under the government’s domain. Instead of resolving the issues at right platforms and in parliament, they took it to the streets.”

There were suggestions that the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) should not be allowed to carry on with their march on the federal capital, but the both parties were allowed to protest in spirit of democracy, said Chaudhry Nisar.

There is no precedent in civilized world of protests such as the ones PAT and PTI are staging at the moment against the government, he said.

“Despite the use of inappropriate language against the prime minister and the ministers throughout the march, the government didn’t do anything against them.”

We restricted the marchers from entering into the Red Zone in accordance with the law and the decision by the Lahore High Court (LHC).

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