LAHORE - The entire nation was expecting that the corps commanders, at their unscheduled Sunday conference, would take such decisions as would help resolve the over two-week political crisis that has virtually paralysed the country and administered a serious blow to the already fragile economy.

But, regrettably, the debilitating crisis will continue for some more time even after the commanders’ moot – and nobody can safely predict how and when it will ultimately end.

A brief but carefully worded statement, issued by the ISPR after the conference said the commanders reviewed with serious concern the existing political crisis and the violent turn it has taken. The commanders once again reiterated that the situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means.

This means that the nation should wait for some more time and see whether and how the political leaders sort out their differences. The government has already failed to resolve the crisis through talks as the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek will not be satisfied with anything unless the prime minister resigns, a precondition vehemently rejected as unconstitutional by eleven out of the twelve parties represented in parliament, who think such a step will amount to undermining the mandate of the nation.

This conference has, in effect, enhanced the importance of the joint session of the parliament convened by the prime minister for Tuesday. The parliamentarians will certainly discuss the decisions of the corps commanders’ conference and the line of action the government and its allies should pursue in the days ahead. Assuming that other parties reiterate their support to the PML-N and encourage the prime minister to not give in to the unconstitutional demands of the PTI and the PAT, the talks suggested by the commanders will become a non-starter and the crisis will continue.

In such a situation who will be held responsible for the deadlock? And if no talks are held or they lead to no results, what course of action will the PTI and the PAT be left with to adopt, who insist that they will not go back home unless all their demands are met?

It is very significant that the commanders reaffirmed their support to "democracy", not the government. In other words the military leaders have no objection to the demands that the prime minister should resign, or suggestions coming from various parties for a national government. Apparently, the commanders will also not oppose the idea of fresh elections, if the parties concerned reach an agreement.

While the military commanders are in favour of a political settlement, they have opposed the use of force against the protesters, as a result of which already some people have been killed.

This approach will make it rather difficult for the government to deal with the situation at a time when the protesters have already entered the areas where they should not have entered. And if the government can't use force, the protesters may try to create more problems for the government and challenge its authority.

"Further use of force will only aggravate the problem," says the ISPR press release. True. But then the non-use of force will make it even more difficult for the law enforcers to remove the protesters from the Red Zone. Let’s see the political developments of the next few days and what the military leaders do to honour their commitment that the “army will never fall short of meeting national aspirations”, as quoted by the ISPR press release.