Columns


Is PML-N throwing in the towel now?

After first showing nerves, then a bit of fight, to now invoking Article 245 to seek the military's help in maintaining law and order in response to opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI)'s Independence Day long march on August 14, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is betraying signs of politically throwing in the towel.

The controversial measure announced for a three-month long duration by Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in Islamabad Friday is sure to ignite a political storm whose ramifications may go well beyond the PML-N government's intended desperate attempt to stop the opposition march.

Article 245 of the Constitution of Pakistan stipulates that:
(1) The Armed Forces shall, under the directions of the Federal Government, defend Pakistan against external aggression or threat of war, and, subject to law, act in aid of civil power when called upon to do so.

(2) The validity of any direction issued by the Federal Government under clause (1) shall not be called in question in any court.

(3) A High Court shall not exercise any jurisdiction under Article 199 in relation to any area in which the Armed Forces of Pakistan are, for the time being, acting in aid of civil power in pursuance of Article 245: Provided that this clause shall not be deemed to affect the jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of any proceeding pending immediately before the day on which the Armed Forces start acting in aid of civil power.

(4) Any proceeding in relation to an area referred to in clause...

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