ISLAMABAD (AFP/France24) – Pakistan’s army warned of “grievous consequences” for the country over criticism by the prime minister that has ramped up tensions between the military and civilian leadership.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani immediately sacked the top bureaucrat in the defence ministry over the row, with the government saying the official had been the cause of the “misunderstanding” with the military.
The spat centres on a Supreme Court inquiry set up to investigate a controversial unsigned memo allegedly delivered to the US military seeking its help in curbing Pakistan’s highly powerful armed forces in May.
Gilani earlier this week accused the army and intelligence chiefs of failing to make their submissions to the commission through government channels, in an unusually bold interview with Chinese media.
The army issued a statement vociferously denying Gilani’s accusation and saying it had passed its response through the defence ministry to the court in accordance with the law.
“There can be no allegation more serious than what the honourable prime minister has levelled against COAS (army chief General Ashfaq Kayani) and DG ISI (spy chief Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha) and has unfortunately charged the officers for violation of the constitution of the country. This has very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country.”
Pakistan has seen three military coups since independence in 1947. It has spent about half of its life under military dictatorships. The current civilian administration headed by Zardari has lurched from crisis to crisis since coming to power in 2008 following elections held a month after the assassination of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
PIR JO GOTH: Shahzain Bugti, a grandson of slain Bugti chieftain Nawab Akbar Bugti, announced head money for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf. Akbar Bugti, along with his comrades, was killed in a military operation in Kohlu district of Balochistan in 2006. The operation was ordered by the then army chief and president Pervez Musharraf.
“We will give Rs1 million in cash and a bungalow worth Rs100 million to anybody who kills Musharraf. And we’ll also provide him full security,” Shahzain Bugti said while speaking to the media after condoling the death of Pir Pagara with his bereaved family. Shahzain Bugti, who is also a leader of his grandfather’s Jamhoori Watan Party, demanded that Musharraf should be hanged.
“The gallows are ready for Musharraf.”