The Asian Age
Rumours sweep Pak, mobs go on rampage
Sharif: Won’t quit, or go on long leave
The political crisis in Pakistan escalated dramatically on Monday as rumours swept the nation that Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif had asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down, and other speculation that the PM had called a Parliament session on Tuesday to seek support to dismiss the Army chief and some five or six senior generals.
Both the government and the military swiftly denied the reports, dismissing these claims as “baseless”. Duniya TV had reported Gen. Sharif had asked the PM to step down for a temporary threemonth period as sought by the protesters to let an independent commission probe alleged rigging in last year’s general elec- tion.
Later Monday, Prime Minister Sharif categorically said he will “neither resign nor go on long leave” after he met Opposition leaders here to seek their support. He said
Parliament will meet today amid talk of PM’s plan to sack generals
Military denies that Army chief had asked PM to step down now
the nation’s leaders had resolved that “there cannot be any compromise on supremacy of the Constitution and continuity of the democratic system”. Any “deviation” from democracy would be dangerous for Pakistan, they said.
The leaders vowed to stand by the PM in the struggle to defend democracy, they said. “All parliamentary parties decided to become party to the
gate, hours after the military asked all parties to peacefully resolve the twoweek- long deadlock. Television images showed protesters pelting stones and the police using batons and teargas to disperse the angry crowd.
Pakistan Tehreek- i- Insaf chairman Imran Khan and cleric Tahir- ul- Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek were booked on Monday under the anti- government. Hundreds of protesters stormed PTV’s office, blocking its transmission briefly before the Army evicted them and secured the building. Protesters barged into the PTV network office, smashing cameras, and entered the control room. Over 800 protesters entered the building.
Army personnel reached the headquarters of the TV station and asked the protesters to leave the building immediately. The Army then took control of the PTV headquarters and evicted the protesters.
Earlier Monday, Pakistan Tehrik- e- Insaf ’ s dissident chief Makhdoom Javed Hashmi alleged that Imran Khan had come “on an agenda” to Islamabad. “Imran Khan told us ‘ they’ ( Army) said move forward with Tahirul Qadri”, said Javed Hashmi.