ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Tuesday announced that Pakistan Army had been deployed to secure the Red Zone under the Article 245 of the Constitution and the doors of dialogue with the protesting parties were open but no one would be allowed to cross the Zone.
Addressing a press conference here, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said, “The army will assume security of the Red Zone and a formal request has been made in this regard”. Troops will guard Diplomatic Enclave, Prime Minister Secretariat and other key buildings located at the Constitutional Avenue, he said.
Ch Nisar disclosed that PTI chief Imran Khan deceived him as he had promised not to cross the red line and enter into the Red Zone.
Nisar said Imran had sent him an SMS stating, “You have my words for it, we will never go to the Red Zone.” At that time I replied him, “Without consulting anyone I am giving you the permission. Your words are enough.”
Interior Minister said the written commitment of PTI chief was with the federal government and Imran was acting hypocritically and he did not honour his commitment.
To a question, Ch Nisar said he did not know who was behind Imran and Dr Tahirul Qadri but it was not the army. “We are sure that army is not behind this dirty game,” he categorically added.
Ch Nisar said Imran initially demanded to verify the election results of four National Assembly seats and later he demanded for 10 and after that he claimed that the whole election was rigged.
“This is not the job of government and it is only the job of election commission. We offered Imran to go together to the superior judiciary but he refused. Finally, the prime minister announced a judicial commission.” He requested Imran not to take revenge of the poor presence of protesters from the people of Pakistan and the country.
Nisar said after failing to pull an impressive show, now Imran Khan was creating a pressure which was unfair and it might be used against him in future if he would enter in power corridors.
He requested Imran and Tahirul Qadri to open the door of negotiations and adopt the democratic and constitutional way to approve their demands and let the country and democracy flourish.
“It is the only way forward,” he said.
Interior minister said that there was only one parliament which was elected by the people of Pakistan and the nation would not allow staging the parliament on roads.
Nisar requested both the leaders not to use women and children as shield but to protect them as they were the daughters of nation and future of the nation.
Replying to a question Nisar said he would do his duty and would also fulfill obligations of friendship.
KASWAR KLASRA adds: Besides troops, thousands of personnel of law enforcement agencies took positions to guard the Red Zone.
According to official sources, 17000 personnel of Punjab police joined the Islamabad police on Tuesday, which raised the total number of law enforcement agencies personnel to 38000 who have been tasked to keep the marchers at a bay.
Red zone is home to Diplomatic Enclave, Prime Minister House, President House, Parliament House and Supreme Court.
In addition to 350 troops of Pakistan army, additional troops of armed forces were deployed inside the sensitive buildings including Parliament House, Diplomatic Enclave among others.
Earlier, the marchers advanced to Red Zone through Abpara area. Amid clapping and cheering, a huge crane hired by PTI first put dent into security of the Red Zone by lifting a huge container placed at Abpara chowk.
It is interesting to note here, none of hundreds of the policemen could dare stop the marchers who attempted to lift the container.
Hundreds of Islamabad police cops backed by Punjab police watched this. However, they couldn’t step forward to stop them. Until filing of this report, not a single incident of violence was reported.