Army deployed in Islamabad, Punjab, KP to restore law and order

Published May 10, 2023
A photo of Pakistan army soldiers. — File
A photo of Pakistan army soldiers. — File

The Interior Ministry on Wednesday approved army deployment in Islamabad, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to address the deteriorating law and order situation in major cities across Pakistan.

Following Imran’s arrest, massive protests broke out across the country, with a number of demonstrators gathering outside military cantonments, General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi, and offices of the Frontier Crops.

Dawn.com has a copy of the ministry’s notifications pertaining to the capital city and the provinces of Punjab and KP which stated that the federal government was “pleased to authorise the deployment of army troops and assets for maintaining the law and order situation across Punjab in aid of civil power”.

They added that the government took the decision to exercise the powers conferred under Article 245 (functions of armed forces) of the Constitution and Section 4 (3) (ii) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (to discharge such functions as specified in the said act).

The Interior Ministry notifications highlighted that the exact number of troops, date, and area of deployment would be worked out by the provincial government in consultation with Military Operations Directorate, General Headquarters.

“The date of requisitioning the of the said deployment will be decided subsequently after mutual consultation among both the stakeholders,” it said.

Earlier, the KP government also sought from the interior ministry armed the deployment of armed forces in aid of civil power under Article 245 of the Constitution.

A copy of the letter, available with Dawn.com stated that the request was made in view of the prevailing law and order circumstances apart from the safety of the life and property of citizens and government installations.

No request has been made by the Balochistan government for the army’s deployment yet.

Troops ‘reaching Islamabad’

Immediately after the interior ministry authorised the deployment of the army in Islamabad, the capital police said that Pakistan Army troops were reaching several locations in Islamabad.

It tweeted that the Rangers and armed forces were at the scene to maintain public order.

“All those who are spreading incitement are requested to stop,” it said and requested women and children to refrain from travelling.

PTI vice chairman raises questions army deployment in Punjab

Immediately after the government approved the deployment of the Pakistan Army in Punjab, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed shock at the move and raised questions about it.

“When the Supreme Court had sought security personnel for election duty, it was told that the deployment was not possible because of the country’s internal security situation,” he said in a video message on Twitter.

“How are they now deploying the army?” Qureshi questioned.

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