Army has assured govt of protecting constitution, says Asif

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Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Thursday that all state institutions, including Pakistan Army, have assured the government that they would protect the constitution and its supremacy.

“There is no doubt in it that the army has assured the government over the protection of the constitution,” the federal defence minister told reporters at Parliament House.

He dismissed reports that the government may use power to disperse the sit-ins staged by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) outside Parliament House. “Why should the government use power against PAT and PTI when it did not use power against them in Lahore,” Asif said.

Asif said both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are democratically elected and would not step down at any cost. “Why should they resign on the demand of a party which has only 35 seats in the National Assembly,” he said.

The defence minister claimed that PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri is backed by certain foreign powers who want to dismantle or capture Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. “No one would be allowed to repeat situation like Iraq, and Syria in Pakistan,” he said.