Pakistan’s top judge, army ally coup fears
Pakistani PM Gilani (R), Pakistani army chief Kayani (C) are seen in this photo. AP photoPakistan’s army chief has denied accusations that the military is seeking to oust the country’s civilian government amid tension over a secret memo alleging an army plot to seize power. The army issued the statement after Pakistan’s top judge also ruled out the possibility of a coup as he examined calls from the army and the opposition to probe the memo scandal threatening the government.
Gen. Pervez Ashfaq Kayani said in a statement released on Dec. 23 the army would continue to support democracy and respect the constitution. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani claimed on Dec. 22 there was a conspiracy under way to oust the government. Current tension was generated by a memo sent to Washington in May asking for help in averting a supposed coup.
Pakistan’s top judge earlier moved to allay fears of a possible military coup as tensions rose. “Rest assured... in this country there is no question of (military) takeover because the people trust the apex court now,” said Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, while hearing petitions calling for an investigation into the scandal. Meanwhile, the Pakistani army on Dec. 23 rejected a U.S. investigation that concluded mistakes on both sides led to American airstrikes last month that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers and severely damaged the already strained relationship between the two countries. The Pakistani army has said its troops did nothing wrong and claimed the attack was a deliberate act of aggression. The army will provide a detailed response after officials receive the report, it said. Pakistan refused to cooperate in the investigation.
Compilef from AFP, AP and Reuters stories by The Daily News staff