ISLAMABAD: The military on Friday issued a short statement saying that it was playing the role of facilitator in the ongoing political crisis at the behest of the government.
In a message posted on Twitter, Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said, "[The] COAS was asked by the Govt to play [a] facilitative role for resolution of current impasse, in yesterday's meeting, at #PM House."
The Twitter update raises more questions than answers about what led to the army's facilitative role in the crisis.
Who requested army mediation?
Government says it gave permission to the army
Explaining what transpired in the lead up to the army chief's meeting with Imran and Qadri, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in Parliament: “It so happened that I was in a meeting when Nisar got a call requesting if General Raheel could meet with Imran and Qadri to which I said they have requested the meeting and if General Raheel wants to meet them, he should go ahead.”
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, in a media briefing also claimed that the ISPR Twitter update was shown to him prior to being published, and was a vindication of the government's point of view.
Imran, Qadri say government is lying
The protesting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PTI) said they made no requests for the military to act as mediator and that the government directly approached the military for help. Citing the Twitter update as evidence, both protesting parties claim Nawaz lied about the PTI and PAT having made the request.
Army says the request came from govt
To clarify its involvement in the political situation, the army said that the request to play facilitator came from the government. The Twitter update did not clarify whether the request from the government came as a result of PTI, PAT demands for army involvement, as the government maintains.