The interim Punjab government and Islamabad administration have asked the interior ministry to recall the army from the two administrative units a month after it was deployed there to address the deteriorating law and order situation following the arrest of PTI chief Imran Khan.
On May 9, after the former prime minister was arrested, 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.
While the protests were under way, social media was flooded with footage of mobs vandalising public and private properties, including military installations.
Subsequently, the interior ministry had approved army deployment in Islamabad, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on May 10.
Referring to the ministry’s notification on May 10, a letter issued by the Islamabad commissioner’s office today recalled that the army was deployed in the federal capital under Article 245 (functions of armed forces) of the Constitution to maintain law and order.
“The situation is now satisfactory in the ICT (Islamabad federal territory) and it is, therefore, requested that the requisition made vide the referred letter may be de-notified, in the best interest of public,” the letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn.com, read.
Separately, another letter to the ministry by the Punjab Home Department recalled that the interior ministry had approved army deployment in the province under Article 245, as well as Section 4(3)(ii) of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 “for maintaining law and order situation across the Punjab province in aid of civil power”.
The letter dated June 9, also available with Dawn.com, stated that “ troops/ assets of the Pakistan Amry may kindly be de-requisitioned with immediate effect under intimation to this department, please“.