ISLAMABAD–As the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif Tuesday resolved to break the political impasse, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government has reportedly started to mobilise lawyersâ€™ bodies to lobby for the current setup, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to the Prime Ministerâ€™s House statement, â€œOverall security environment including the prevailing situation was discussed in the meeting. There was a consensus on the need to resolve the on-going issue expeditiously in the best national interest.â€
It was the second successive advice to the civilian government by the army in a weekâ€™s time, asking the government to resolve the political standoff with the opposition peacefully. The meeting was significant in wake of a political stalemate between the PML-N government and the protestors of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) who have staged their sit-ins outside the Parliament House at Constitutional Avenue.
Sources privy to the meeting between the two leaders told Pakistan Today that the COAS assured the prime minister that no element was active against the elected government and all issues with the protesting parties of PTI and PAT should be resolved peacefully.
â€œDuring the meeting, General Sharif also shared some proposals to break the political impasse,â€ sources said, adding that the armyâ€™s top brass was â€œmuch alarmedâ€ over the situation which could turn violent any time.
Sources privy to the developments taking place in the federal capital also told Pakistan Today that the prime minister and his cabinet members had a strong feeling that â€œsome elementsâ€ were behind the current political turmoil and Khan and Qadri were â€œfollowing a scripted version of eventsâ€.
â€œDuring Tuesdayâ€™s meeting, the prime minister took up with the army chief all his concerns one-by-one and informed Gen Sharif that there were some elements who were working to oust an elected government. He also shared some evidence collected by a civilian intelligence agency, however, the army chief did not look convinced,â€ sources within PML-N told this scribe.
LAWYERS TO BE MOBILISED:
Sources said that after mobilising political and religious workers, the government was allegedly mobilising lawyers to save itself.
According to sources, soon after the meeting with the COAS, the premier phoned Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Kamran Murtaza and former SCBA president Asma Jahangir and sought support from the legal fraternity.
â€œKamran Murtaza, Asma Jahangir, Munir Malik, Justice (r) Tariq Chaudhry and others are being requested to lobby for taking out rallies in governmentâ€™s support.â€
ARMY NOT REALLY WILLING TO INTERVENE:
Former defence secretary and prominent defence analyst General (r) Talat Masood told Pakistan Today that if the political stalemate continued, the army would have to intervene â€œunwillinglyâ€.
â€œThe meeting between the army chief and the premier reflects how the military leadership is concerned over the political turmoil. If a major security situation triggers, the army will have to play a crucial role,â€ he added.
Masood said that the prime ministerâ€™s phone calls to the prominent lawyersâ€™ leaders proved that the prime minister was feeling â€œthreatenedâ€ and was seeking support from the legal fraternity.