Islamabad - The federal government Friday decided in principle to deploy army troops in major cities, apparently to forestall terrorist threats following the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan, sources said.

Well-placed sources told The Nation that decision to this effect was taken at a high level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and deployment of troops, under Article 245, would be to assist the civilian institutions. The meeting reviewed the overall security and political situation in the country.

Among those who attended the meeting were Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Pervez Rasheed, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed Khan and Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar also attended the meeting.

According to the sources, the meeting also took stock of the prevailing political situation the country with special focus on protests and agitation calls given by PTI chief Imran Khan as well as Dr Tahirul Qadri. Sources quoted the prime minister as saying that no one would be allowed to hold the democratic system hostage. KPK Governor Mehtab Abbasi briefed the meeting about measures being taken for well being of the internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Clause 650(1) of Article 245 of the constitution states that the armed forces shall, under the directions of the federal government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so. As per Clause 651(2), the validity of any direction issued by the federal government under Clause (1) shall not be called in question in any court.

Clause (3) further states that a High Court shall not exercise any jurisdiction under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the armed forces are, for the time being, acting in aid of civil power in pursuance of Article 245. Provided that this clause shall not be deemed to affect the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of any proceeding pending immediately before the day on which the armed forces start acting in aid of civil power.

As per Clause (4), any proceeding in relation to an area referred to in clause (3) instituted on or after the day the armed forces start acting in aid of civil power and pending in any High Court shall remain suspended for the period during which the armed forces are so acting.


JAVAID-UR-RAHMAN adds: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday said that the internally displaced persons would surely be rehabilitated with honour after the completion of operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan.

“For us helping the people who got displaced because of Zarb-e-Azb is the top most priority and we’ll do our level best to help them,” said the PM while chairing a high-level meeting at the PM House. Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mehtab Ahmed, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Minister for State & Frontier Regions Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Minister for Water & Power Khwaja Asif, Minister for Railways Khwaja Saad Rafiq, Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Minister Information Senator Pervaiz Rashid attended the meeting. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan kept himself away from the important meeting due to his alleged differences with the party leadership.

Sources said the PM also held a brief meeting with CM Shahbaz about the Interior Minister’s annoyance on some issues. Shahbaz, they said, shared with the PM about his two meetings with Chaudhry Nisar. Later, the CM reportedly left for Lahore, taking Chaudhry Nisar with him to shun the differences.

“A between PM Nawaz and Ch Nisar is expected in Lahore in which Nisar’s reservations are likely to be addressed,” said sources.

Sources said the meeting also discussed the matter related to PTI Chief Imran Khan’s threat of holding million march in Islamabad on August 14. 

Earlier, Minister SAFRON Lt. Gen. (R) Abdul Qadir Baloch briefed the PM regarding the situation of Waziristan IDPs. He said that in order to get first hand information, he himself visited distribution points and met local elders. He further said that till Thursday July 3, about 566,000 people have been registered as IDPs. Camps are being well managed and there is no loadshedding, added the minister. He further briefed that polio vaccination is being effectively administered to the IDPs. He said the cash distribution among the IDP is being carried out in the most transparent manner, and from July 8 onwards payments will be made through mobile cash transfers.

On the occasion, Ishaq Dar briefed the meeting that the ECC has approved 60,000 tons wheat costing Rs2.8 billion to be distributed among the IDPs.