Pakistan Government has appointed its Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif as mediator to neutralize the ongoing political crisis in the country. The decision to seek COAS’ help was taken after both Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Tahir-ul-Qadri, the chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) refused to end their protests demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign.
The current political turbulence in Pakistan was caused after the former additional secretary Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) Afzal Khan claimed that the general election in which Nawaz Sharif registered an overwhelming victory was rigged. The country is in turmoil owing to political impasse for two weeks. Anti-government protests have gripped the capital Islamabad.
Earlier, Pakistan’s military had chosen not to intervene in the political crisis. But now, with the direct involvement of the General, there are apprehensions that military could use this opportunity to exercise its influence over a democratically-elected civilian government.
J&K Legislative Council passed a resolution urging the government to resume the talks with Pakistan. Chairman of the Council Amrit Malhotra moved the resolution on behalf of the house. The resolution also suggested state government to take steps for the relief and rehabilitation.
The resolution may stir controversy as the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir clearly says that Foreign Affairs are not under the purview of the state government.
Khan had clinched the sport’s premier title- the British Open seven times between 1951 and 1958.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi said in a speech made during his visit to Leh that the Siachen Glacier was non-negotiable as he held Pakistan responsible for continuing proxy war in Jammu and Kashmir in which India has lost more soldiers than all wars combined.
He promised Rs 8,000-crore package to build better roads connecting major cities in Jammu & Kashmir. He also laid the foundation stone of the Leh-Kargil-Srinagar power grid. It would be completed by 2017 at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore, with the Centre funding 95% of the cost.
Modi’s stance on Siachen matches those of successive Army Chiefs, who had held that withdrawing from the glacier would be ‘hara-kiri’ as it would allow the Pakistan-China combine to cut off northern Ladakh.
The glacier is in India’s possession since 1984. Pakistan had, in the past, suggested demilitarization of the 2,600 square km glacier.
PM Modi promised:
- Completion of Leh-Kargil-Srinagar power grid by 2017 at a cost of Rs 1,800 crore, with Centre funding 95% of the cost.
- ‘One rank one pension’ to be effected
- National war memorial to be built
- 3 Ps to develop Ladakh: Prakash (light), Paryavaran (environment), Paryatan (tourism)
- Special attention to ‘kesar’ grown in Valley, ‘pashmina’ and solar energy schemes.