COAS advises PM: Avoid the use of force

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi chaired meetings with top government officials, including the army chief, on Sunday to review the aftermath of a security crackdown on protesters which left six dead and hundreds wounded.

The two-hour long meeting discussed ways to resolve the crisis, including fresh talks with protesters, a prime minister house official told media.

Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa, who was on an official visit to U.A.E., cut short his trip and met the prime minister on Sunday.

He advised the prime minister to avoid the use of force and restore news channels, official said.

General Qamar Javed Bajwa has recommended Prime Minister Abbasi, not to deploy army troops to end Faizabad sit-in by saying that force cannot be used against fellow nationals. He said that how could the armed force become a part of the operation as the people of the country love armed forces.

“The violence in the country will damage our image in the world,” he added.

Instead, the top leadership decided, to engage in political negotiations with protestors in Islamabad.

The army chief also suggested that the findings of the Raja Zafar-ul-Haq committee should be made public.

Chief of Army Staff Qamar Jawed Bajwa, who flew in from the United Arab Emirates, attended the over two-hour-long meeting headed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, along with Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Director-General (DG) Inter-Services Intelligence Naveed Mukhtar.

Minutes after his meeting, the two-day clampdown on news channels was lifted across the country.