ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in consultation with senior party leaders, has finally decided to downplay the army’s overt reflection on the governance of political dispensation and rejected the suggestion coming from hawkish elements within the party and from some allies to call a joint sitting of the Parliament to take up this overstepping of the constitutional limits by an institution.

Background interviews with some senior party leaders and input from the sources within the party revealed that initially there was a strong reaction to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release on the corps commanders meeting, showing concern over poor governance of political dispensation which was not matching the pace of ongoing military operation. A senior party leader and cabinet member informed The Nation that Premier Sharif and his close aides seemed touchy about the statement. But saner elements in the party were of the view that they should not overreact to the situation and wait for a day or so before taking some action.

Sources in the party that were aware of the developments taking place on this front revealed things had flared up the very next day when leaders from various political parties, including the government allies, came up with a strong-worded reaction to the ISPR’s jurisdiction to question the governance of the political dispensation whereas all the decisions about the ongoing military operation Zerb-e-Azb and National Action Plan were taken with all the stakeholders,including the army, on board.

Sources in the party said the response on the statement of ISPR was just aimed at putting the record straight and cool down the situation by advising the institutions to work remaining within their precincts defined in the Constitution.

They further said some party leaders with hawkish tendency wanted to take up the matter at the floor of the Parliament and advised the prime minister to call a joint sitting on the issue, but the saner elements prevailed and it was decided that Premier Sharif would himself take up the matter with the army chief on his return from the US visit.

The sources in the party said such issues did figure up in the high-level security meetings in the past on which military leadership and the prime minister agreed to the point that political dispensation should boost its efforts in managing the areas cleared of the militants after the operation.

The sources confirmed to The Nation that on the direction of the prime minister, the ruling party leaders, particularly the cabinet members, were barred from commenting on the civil-military relations, specifically in the context of the ISPR statement, to avoid further misunderstanding between the two. The direction came after the wayward statements of the federal ministers; some just dubbed it as a routine matter, while others said it was not meant for the governance of the federal government, the sources added.

They further said that in the upcoming National Assembly session starting from 20th of this month, the ruling PML-N would downplay the issue and try to brush under the carpet the apparent uneasiness in the civil-military relations while the people in the ruling party, who used to play the role of a bridge between the civil and military leadership are already working on it to avoid cropping up of further misunderstandings between the two sides.