Army put on standby for capital’s security


Making use of Article 245 of the Constitution, Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Friday announced the government’s decision to call in the military for capital’s security from August 1 for a period of three months.

Talking to journalists at the Parliament House on Friday, Nisar said that the Interior Ministry has already sent a requisition for deployment of army to the Ministry of Defence. He said the ministry has sought the army’s services for maintaining law and order in the federal capital from August to October.

The minister said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had decided in principle on July 4 to approve the deployment of the armed forces in aid of the civil administration to enhance security at sensitive installations across the country under Article 245 of the Constitution. He had taken this decision after consulting his close aides during a high-level meeting.

Nisar said that security across the country has been placed on high alert in view of operation Zarb-e-Azb and its possible fall out. He said provincial governments have been instructed to keep police and other security institutions in top gear to deal with any untoward incident at a short notice.

Regarding Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s long march, Nisar said that PTI had not submitted any application to Islamabad’s deputy commissioner in this regard. The decision to allow PTI’s march will be taken after the party formally registers a request, he said, adding that the decision would be taken by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif upon his return from Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the government’s decision, a spokesman of the Interior Ministry has clarified that army was being called for a limited period for assistance of police and civil administration to stop any possible attack of terrorism and keep the overall situation of peace and security stable in Islamabad. He said in this connection, legal, constitutional and administrative aspects were being looked into for the last few weeks and after all it was decided to issue a formal notification on Thursday.

According to the notification, special contingents of armed forces of Pakistan will assist police and civil administration at some sensitive and important locations including airport while the army contingents will also perform their responsibility as Rapid Response Force as they will have assistance and protection of Article 245 of the Constitution.

The government spokesman further clarified that wherever army will be needed or demanded in provincial capitals, similar model and procedure will be adopted there.

Under Article 245, the army has been given powers to maintain law and order in the federal capital. The validity of any direction issued by the federal government under Clause (1) shall not be called into question in any court.

Moreover, a high court shall not exercise any jurisdiction under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the armed forces of Pakistan 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.

Also, any proceedings 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.


On the other hand, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement issued Friday said that the decision was pregnant with serious consequences for the people and country as it reflected not the only the “failure of civil administration” but also “total suspension of the jurisdiction of the high courts”.

Babar said that PPP had always opposed invoking Article 245 for calling army in aid of civil power whether it was in Karachi or other parts of the country. The situation in Islamabad was not any worse than in any other part of the country to warrant inviting security establishment to fix it by vesting in them “powers beyond judicial oversight”, he said.

The senator said that the government failed to recognize the fact that if army was called-in in Islamabad today, then in future, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta, Lahore, indeed the whole country, may have to be handed over to the army under Article 245 and “practically dispense with the high courts”.

He also said that the decision to hand over the federal capital to the army will also send disturbing signals to the world about the prevailing security situation in the country.

Moreover, Babar said that the decision would “further distort the already distorted civil-military equation”.

Furthermore, leader of the opposition in National Assembly (NA) Syed Khurshid Shah has termed the decision “government’s failure to deal with law and order situation”.

Talking to journalist in Sukkur on Friday, Shah questioned that if the government was not able to give protection to a city of 1.5 million people, how could it run the country. He warned that it will not be in favour of the incumbent government if it tried to stop Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) from launching long march.





  1. The most propable reason behind the imposition of article 245 is the danger posed by 800 hundred pound guerilla in the room —The PTI march.


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