ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to extend the army’s deployment in the capital city for three more months.
According to officials of the interior ministry, the deployment was extended due to a request made by the chief commissioner of Islamabad. In the extension order, the federal government has exercised powers conferred under Article 245 of the Constitution to extend the authorisation of deployment of 350 troops of the Pakistan Army to act in aide of civil power in accordance with the law for 90 days.
The federal government had deployed the army in Islamabad under the same article of the Constitution in 2014 and had mandated the military to aid civilian law-enforcement agencies in securing the capital.
The troops from 111 Brigade have been in the capital since May 2014, when they were called in by capital administration due to expected retaliation from militants against an operation in North Waziristan, according to police and capital administration officials.
They said these troops were additional to the troops stationed in five different places including the Presidency, Sports Complex and the Heliport.
Separate requisitions were made by the capital administration on May 25, 2014 and June 17 of the same year to call in the Rangers and army in the capital city respectively.
In 2014, the capital police needed the army for security duties and the then inspector general of police and senior superintendent of police also met with the then Rawalpindi corps commander and requested to be provided two companies of soldiers.
They sought assistance for the security of installations in the Red Zone and Margalla Hills adjacent to the high security zone, for deployment at important pickets and for patrolling at sensitive installations and areas.
The army was also asked to assist the capital police in intelligence gathering about the presence of militants in the city.