ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) rejected on Saturday the government’s decision of invoking Article 245 in the capital, and warned it could approach the Supreme Court against.
The Imran Khan-led party, which is scheduled to hold an Long March in Islamabad on August 14, discussed the issue at its core committee meeting held in Islamabad today.
“The PTI's core committee stated that it would not, under any circumstances, accept the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government invoking Article 245, calling in the army in support of the federal government in Islamabad,” said PTI Information Secretary Shireen Mazari in a statement issued after the meeting.
The party called the move an attempt by the government to use the army against political opponents and said that if the PML-N chose to go ahead with the decision, it reserved the right to approach the Supreme Court.
“If the government thinks of using Article 245 again [in] Islamabad [on] August 14, PTI reserves the right to go to the SC,” the core committee warned.
The PTI noted that it would be a sensible political decision if the government withdrew its invocation of Article 245.
Furthermore, the party stated that for the PML-N government to concede its failure to protect the capital, its citizens and sensitive installations itself, is a direct admission of its failure.
“A democratic sitting government does not resort to Article 245, as it effectively signals an admission of failure to govern and maintain law and order to protect citizens,” said the statement.
It added that it is also a clear sign that the PML-N government is, in desperation, trying to cover rigging in the May 11, 2013 elections, by seeking to use Article 245.
“If the PML-N government is seeking to place PTI's Azadi March in direct confrontation with the army, it is a dangerous tactic, and also futile since the PTI has always maintained a culture of peaceful protests and marches,” the core committee further said.
It is unethical and unacceptable for the PML-N government to try and draw in the army into what is clearly a democratic political protest, it added.
Furthermore, the party said that the army is a national institution -- not a tool for the PML-N to use against its political opponents.
PTI's core committee also pointed out that the PML-N's own long march took place just before the Swat Operation, during which they claimed it was their democratic right to do so, and added that Article 245 was not invoked at the time.
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