Pak army top brass meets amid political crisis, chaos

Sharif calls Parliament joint session

Pak army top brass meets amid political crisis, chaos

The top brass of the powerful Pakistani Army chaired by its chief General Raheel Sharif held an urgent meeting on Sunday night to discuss the political crisis that has engulfed the country after night-long clashes here between security forces and anti-government demonstrators left three people dead and nearly 500 injured.

The army corps commanders met in Rawalpindi to take stock of the situation created by the 18-day siege of the heart of the Pakistani establishment, housing the Presidency, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court and the Prime Minister’s Office.

Embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, whose ouster is the main demand of the protesters, decided to summon joint sitting of parliament on Tuesday to discuss the political crisis which erupted into widespread violence in the capital on Saturday night after supporters of opposition leader  Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri sought to storm Sharif’s residence nearby by breaking through the police barricade.

The violence continued throughout the night and subsided on Sunday morning.
However, the stand-off continued over demand for Sharif’s resignation for his alleged role in rigging during last year’s elections. Khan, the cricketer-turned-politician, vowed to fight till the last breath and asked Pakistanis to rebel against the “illegal” regime.

Qadri alleged seven of his supporters were killed by security forces which could not be confirmed. A security official said that the meeting called by General Sharif was initially planned for Monday but it was rescheduled due to “deteriorating internal security situation”.

Ghulam Mustafa Khan, a former army general, told Duniya TV that the commanders will discuss the entire security situation and try to conclude whether the civilian government can control it or not.

“They will also decide the level of army intervention,” he said. The army holds the key to resolving the impasse which has plunged the country into the worst crisis, 15 months after Sharif’s PML-N was voted to power.

A high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sharif decided to summon the joint session of parliament to discuss prevailing crisis in the country and is expected to adopt another resolution for upholding the Constitution and supremacy of parliament.
The meeting condemned the attack on parliament by protesters and termed it against the Constitution.

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