ISLAMABAD - The day-long efforts being made by political leaders to break the impasse in government, PAT and PTI negotiations dashed down Thursday evening when, on the request of the prime minister, chief of army staff stepped in to help defuse the tense situation.
Political leadership across the national spectrum are mum over the development and those who spoke to The Nation simply said that it would have been better had the politicians resolved the political issue politically and should have avoided involvement of army in affair, which is never a good omen.
After the announcement of breakdown of negotiations on Wednesday, both PAT chief Allama Tahirul Qadri and PTI Chairman Imran Khan and their final ultimatum to take some extreme step, the leaders belonging to opposition parties once again became active to restore the parleys and throughout the day Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira made hectic efforts to bring back the estranged parties on negotiation table.
Sensing the gravity of the situation prime minister not only put off his Turkey’s visit but also held series of meetings with his party leaders and also made contacts with leaders belonging to other parties as well to devise strategy in case the protesters of PAT and PTI would take some extreme step.
The volatile situation also alarmed Chief of Army Staff General Rasheel Sharif who also called on the premier and discussed with him the possible disastrous fallout in case some clash between the security agencies and the protesters would occur, who are staging sit-ins in front of the Parliament House for past over 10 days.
The news of army chief’s intervention came from PAT and PTI leadership in their routine address to their protesters in Red Zone and the same would also be confirmed by some senior PML-N ministers. Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer who remained vibrant throughout the crisis days to resolve the issue through negotiations commenting on the situation simply said it would have been better had the imbroglio resolved by the politicians, tacitly expressing his displeasure over the involvement of armed forces in the political affairs.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly simply ward off the question about this new development and said that he would give his reaction after the formal reaction of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) on the matter.
Majority of the key players of ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) who were harping on the tone of not accepting any unconstitutional demand of the protesters went missing after this development and not available for comments.
However, those who picked up their cell phones were not ready to utter something on the record and simply said that they were not aware of the development and could not give their reflection on the matter till the policy statement would come from the party leadership. Some of the Parliamentarians, preferring not to be named, termed it a bad day for democracy and democratic institutions in the country when the representatives of the people were looking toward armed forces for the solution of purely political matters and the army chief would be playing the role of mediator as well as guarantor to defuse the situation.
Generally there is state of despondency in the rank and file of the ruling PML-N while the political forces, which stood by prime minister in this cliff-hanger situation were all dejected over the intervention of army in the matter and that too on the request of the politically elected prime minister of Pakistan.