- Move comes to maintain law and order situation across province 'in aid of civil power'
The Ministry of Interior authorised the deployment of Pakistan Army in Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, and Islamabad after the respective setups asked for troops in a bid to maintain law-and-order.
“Pursuant to the request made by Home Department, government of the Punjab … the Federal Government, in exercise of the powers conferred under Article 245 of the Constitutions and Section 4 (3) (ii) of Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 (to discharge such functions as specified in the said act), is pleased to authorize deployment of Pakistan Army troops/assets for maintaining law and order situation across the Punjab province in aid of civil power,” stated the Ministry of Interior in its order, available with Business Recorder, dated May 10, 2023.
“The exact numbers of troops/assets, date and area of deployment will be worked out by the Provincial Government in consultation with MO Dte, GHQ. The date of de-requisitioning of said deployment will be decided subsequently after mutual consultation among both the stakeholders.”
The government had already imposed Section 144 in the province on Tuesday.
KP also seeks deployment of troops
Subsequently, the government of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) also requested troops in the province to maintain the law and order situation. The provincial government sent a summary to the Ministry of Interior in this regard.
In response, the ministry also notified the deployment of troops in the province.
It was later learnt that to address the deteriorating law and order situation, army was also deployed in the federal capital Islamabad.
The development comes after the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Tuesday arrested Imran in the Al-Qadir Trust case. Subsequently, PTI workers and supporters resorted to protest, roadblocks, violence and arson. They also attacked a few national institutions.
According to AFP, nearly 1,000 people have been arrested in Punjab since protests erupted.
“Police teams arrested 945 law breakers and miscreants from across the province,” officials said in a statement to media, adding 130 officers and officials were injured in the violence.
Moreover, the government blocked social media and mobile broadband to contain the unrest.
The government is in process to identify the culprits of violence in cooperation with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal said on Wednesday that the government has no vendetta against Imran and he is not being victimised politically.
Speaking to international media, Iqbal said “Imran was arrested in a case pertaining to corruption and this is part of accountability”.
“NAB made the arrest in a legal manner but PTI workers and supporters resorted to violence and anarchy in the country,” he said, adding: “Taking a country hostage is fascism.”