Didn't ask Pakistan Army to mediate to defuse political crisis: Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday contradicted  Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's statement that the country's army was made part of the negotiations at the request of the protesting parties.

Didn't ask Pakistan Army to mediate to defuse political crisis: Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday contradicted  Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan's statement that the country's army was made part of the negotiations at the request of the protesting parties.

The Pakistan Priem Minister said, “I didn't ask the Army to mediate to help resolve the present political impasse,” adding that “protection of Red Zone is army's responsibility. It is only doing its duty.”

Speaking in the National Assembly today, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had revealed that the army was made part of the negotiations at the request of the protesting parties.

After receiving mixed reaction over the army’s intervention, Nisar told that the Prime Minister turned to the Army chief for a solution to the political deadlock after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leaderships agreed to hold talks with the army leadership.

The Interior Minister lamented that the protesting parties were unwilling to accept any institution's offered solutions, and therefore, the government was forced to accept the military as a last resort.

"They did not trust the judiciary; they did not trust the opposition parties in this assembly; they do not trust lawyers – if they do not trust anyone but the army, what option did the government have?" Nisar said.

The Interior Minister said the agenda of the protesting parties were not only undemocratic but against the state as well.

Interestingly, the Pakistan government today said that resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is out of question but it is open to negotiate with the Opposition on the current political unrest.

The development came shortly after Army Chief General Raheel Sharif met Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan and cleric Tahir-ul Qadri early this morning to defuse the fortnight-long political crisis in Pakistan, hours after he was named the official mediator.

However, PTI chief refused to budge from his demand.

After holding talks with leaders of the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), General Raheel Sharif is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif later in the day.

PTI leader Imran Khan and PAT leader Tahir-ul-Qadri had on Thursday accepted the army chief as a mediator and guarantor in solving the current political impasse.

The protests launched by Khan and Qadri began Aug 15 for the resignation of Nawaz Sharif, who is accused of rigging the 2013 general election.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asim Bajwa said both Khan and Qadri met the army chief separately and agreed to take steps to resume the dialogue.

According to officials, the prime minister is prepared to show resilience on all demands put forward by PTI and PAT except the one calling for his resignation.

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