Haven't sought army's mediation in political crisis: Sharif
Posted on Aug 29 2014 | IANS
Islamabad, Aug 29 : Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Friday told parliament that he has not sought the army's mediation in the current political crisis as was claimed by two opposition leaders whose activists have camped in Islamabad and are demanding his resignation.
The two opposition politicians, Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri, claimed Thursday that the government has approached the army chief for mediation to end the deadlock.
Imran Khan and Qadri held separate meetings with the army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, at the military headquarters to explore ways of a peaceful solution.
A government team is now holding talks with the negotiators of the two opposition parties to have follow-up discussions on the issues discussed with the army chief. A military spokesman confirmed the meetings but did not share any details with the media.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif informed the National Assembly Friday that his government has not contacted the army for mediation, Xinhua reported.
"On the request of both Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri, the army chief asked me to permit meetings with them," Nawaz Sharif told the house over a controversy as to why the government sought the army's intervention in political affairs.
Confusion further deepened when Qadri and Imran Khan also said they had not requested for the army's mediation.
Senior political leaders, speaking in the National Assembly Friday, called for clarification over the army's mediation.
Nawaz Sharif said he could sacrifice his government 10 times, but would never compromise on the supremacy of parliament, the constitution and the democracy.
Speaking in the National Assembly Friday, he assured the house that the government would honour each word of the resolution passed by the house regarding holding negotiations with protestors.
He said he has taken oath to protect the constitution and parliament and would never deviate from this oath.
Sharif told the lawmakers that he would not surrender to any pressure and would protect the supremacy of the constitution.
"I can sacrifice my government but would not sacrifice on the ideology of the constitution and strengthening of the democracy."
Leaders of several opposition parties renewed support to the government during the ongoing crisis and advised the prime minister not to accept any illegal demands and to resist any pressure.