Pakistani prime minister rules out military coup
ISLAMABADPakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday denied a military intervention was imminent against his government over a secret memo that sought U.S. help to prevent a supposed coup.
Tensions between the army and government appear to have soared in recent days as intelligence chiefs demanded an inquiry into the scandal that threatens to implicate President Asif Ali Zardari, who is abroad following an illness. “There is no room for a martial law in Pakistan,” Gilani said in a brief televised interaction with the media, two days after he met army chief General Ashfaq Kayani in Islamabad.
Pakistan’s military, which has staged four coups, remains the chief power-broker in the country. But Gilani described the memo as a “non-issue” which was being blown up unnecessarily. The scandal relates to a memo that sought U.S. intervention to prevent a feared military coup in exchange for overhauling Pakistan’s security leadership after U.S. troops killed Osama bin Laden.