The pressure is increasing upon Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his civilian government.
One day after the nation’s Supreme Court threatened to disqualify Gilani from holding his seat if he failed to investigate President Asif Ali Zardari for corruption, Pakistan’s powerful army generals warned of “very serious ramifications” and “grievous consequences” after the prime minister reportedly accused the army chief and the boss of the intelligence agency of violating the constitution.
The latest imbroglio arose after Gilani told a Chinese newspaper that army chief General Pervez Ashfaq Kayani breached the Constitution by speaking to the Supreme Court about ‘memo-gate’ -- an alleged memo that Zardari sent to the U.S. government asking for Washington’s help in reducing the power and influence of Pakistan’s military and intelligence network. That scandal has already cost the job of Hussain Haqqani, the former ambassador to the U.S., and placed even more pressure on Zardari to quit.
Separately, Gilani has sacked his top defense secretary, retired General Naeem Khalid Lodhi, for gross misconduct.”
Pakistani media explained that Lodhi was dismissed for creating misunderstanding between the state institutions.
BBC reported that Lodhi was believed to have close very ties to the military.
Underlying all these disparate events is the growing fear that Pakistan’s military may engineer another coup to topple the elected, civilian government (something not unprecedented in Pakistani history).
However, Kayani has rejected rumors that he is seeking to stage a coup and insisted the army is dedicated to democracy.