Don’t Waste Time or Else…: Pak Army to Nawaz Sharif

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As anti-government protests picked momentum in Pakistan, protesters armed with rocks and wooden clubs clashed with police in Islamabad on Monday. Earlier, the powerful army of Pakistan called for a peaceful negotiation to the political deadlock.

The army has asked government and protesters to sort out their differences amicably on Sunday night, but warned that it was ‘committed to playing its role in ensuring security of the state,’ after deadly clashes claimed three lives in the country.

The deadly violence began on Saturday night when followers of cricketer-turned politician Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri tried to storm Sharif’s official residence.

Fresh violence erupted on Monday morning amid heavy rainfall and more than 3000 demonstrators again tried to march to the building, according to an AFP journalist.

Protesters pelted riot police with stones and some smashed up motorbikes with wooden clubs. Police tried to respond with teargas, but the heavy rain appeared to make it ineffective.

After an emergency meeting of top brass in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, the army voiced support for democracy, but also stressed its own role in maintaining security.

"While reaffirming support to democracy, the conference reviewed with serious concern, the existing political crisis and the violent turn it has taken, resulting in large scale injuries and loss of lives," the military said in a statement.

"It was once again reiterated that the situation should be resolved politically without wasting any time and without recourse to violent means."

They added: "The army remains committed to playing its part in ensuring security of the state and will never fall short of meeting national aspirations."

The weekend clashes left nearly 500 people injured, including some children and nearly 100 police officers.

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