Pak Army Chief suggests PM to handle Islamabad sit-in ‘peacefully’

Islamabad: In the wake of Islamabad sit-in, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa recently called up Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, suggesting to handle the protest peacefully.

“COAS telephoned PM.Suggested to handle Isb Dharna peacefully avoiding violence from both sides as it is not in national interest & cohesion,” Official spokesperson of Pakistan Armed Forces Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted.

The Army Chief weighed in after the protests spread to other main cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, following the crackdown against the protesters in Islamabad, reported the Express Tribune.

Earlier on Saturday, a number of reports claimed that the troops were called in Islamabad to restore peace after a police crackdown on protesters went violent, but it turns out, the army hasn’t been deployed.

According to sources, the civilian government requested the Commander 111 Brigade directly, as per the mail that was leaked to the Pakistan media, violating the protocol. The proper channel would have been through the Chief of Army Staff General (COAS), Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Several hours later, there was no sign of any army movement in Islamabad or Rawalpindi.

The crackdown was launched after negotiations failed and the protesters defied the orders of the top courts of the country to end their sit-in as it had paralysed life in the capital.

Reportedly, major social networking sites, including Facebook and Twitter, have also been blocked in the country. (ANI)