ISLAMABAD - The federal government had invoked the article 245 soon after the launch of operation Zarb-e-Azb in the mid of June at the moment when army had been deployed at important installations throughout the country including airports, well-placed sources in military establishment revealed.
Background discussions with some retired army officers indicate that article 245 of the constitution had been invoked when Pakistan army had taken over the security of some sensitive installations soon after the launch of the NWA operation.
Some independent observers are of the view that recent announcement of the government for invoking article 245 was just meant to gain political mileage in the wake of announced Azadi March of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the capital on August 14. According to local administration of Islamabad, the ministry of interior had requisitioned Rangers troops in June for the security of the capital and then in the middle of July, army troops were also called in to assist the local police and administration. So army had already been deployed in the capital before the government’s other day announcement about invoking article 245.
Pakistan Army has already taken over the security charge of all major airports of Pakistan, Parliament House and other sensitive and security installations, especially in Islamabad.
The ex-army officers said that the government could invoke the article 245 in any case of emergency or extraordinary situation and army had to help the civilian authorities under the constitution.
“It is the duty of Pakistan Army to help the civilian authorities under the article 245 but Pakistan Army has nothing to do with the political activities and rallies and it is the duty of front line security forces which are police and Rangers. Army can only intervene in case of their failure,” Brigadier (R) Mian Muhammad Mehmood, secretary Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association, told this correspondent.
Brig (Retd) Samson Sharif said that it seemed that the government was trying to use constitutional powers against their political rivals but army would not become the tool of their political agenda. According to the sources, no new deployment would be made after the announcement regarding article 245. Only the 111 brigade will send extra troops on August 13 when 150 soldiers will hold a ceremony outside Parliament House as per tradition. This ceremony takes place every year in the presence of the Army, Navy and Air chiefs where soldiers salute the national flag when the anthem is being played.”
The article 245 allows the government to summon the military’s support, while also suspending the regular function of high courts during the enforcement of the legislation. The validity of any direction issue by the government with regard to this article cannot be challenged.