The Imran Khan government in Pakistan is weighing the option of calling in armed forces in Islamabad to counter a protest march called by the opposition parties, according to a Pakistani English daily, Express Tribune.
Maulana Fazl, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) has announced a ‘Azadi March’ supported by opposition parties including PML-N, PPP, ANP and PkMAP, on October 31 to Islamabad to topple the Imran Khan government, accusing it of coming into power through rigged elections.
The newspaper quoting its sources said that a meeting was held at the PM’s residence on law and order situation and to explore different options to counter the march. In the meeting, the participants agreed that peaceful protest is everyone’s right but no one can be allowed to besiege Islamabad.
The security of sensitive government buildings and foreign embassies was also discussed in the meeting.
It was decided in the meeting that the government will hold talks with all opposition parties including Fazl. If the talks fail, army troops will be deployed to protect the government buildings and important installations.
However, the Ministry of Interior will make the final decision if the armed forces are to be called, the report said.
In Pakistan, the army troops ware also called during the Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) 2014 and Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan’s (TLP) November 2017 sit-ins.
As per the Article 245 of Pakistan’s Constitution, acts of armed forces cannot be challenged in court when they are called in to support the civil administration.