ISLAMABAD: The army has refused to mediate between the government and protesting parties to diffuse the political tension and instead has asked both sides to resolve the matter through negotiations.
Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif met the Army Chief General Raheel Sharif for the fourth time since the start of this mayhem. However, they were urged to directly engage the protesting Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in a‘meaningful dialogue’ and find out an ‘urgent solution’. He also advised government functionaries to display ‘seriousness’ in their outlook so as to resolve the crisis. An internal source informed press members that besides asking for security, the civilian leadership also solicited help from military in negotiating a settlement.
The PML-N government has always been extremely hostile to the idea of military intervention in political issues. However, the PML-N leadership was told that army had no intention of intervention in the present political turmoil.