Kayani: No plans to take over Pakistan

Dec. 23, 2011 at 4:14 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Pakistan's top general said the military is committed to democracy even as the prime minister said the military acts like a "state within a state."

The military issued a statement Friday saying Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani pledged there are no plans for a military takeover while visiting troops Thursday in the northwestern regions of Mohmand and Kurram, The New York Times reported.

"The army will continue to support democratic process in the country," Kayani said.

The general "dispelled the speculations of any military takeover and said that these are misleading and are being used as a bogey to divert the focus from the real issues," the military command statement said.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said Thursday the generals behave like "a state within a state" and should be accountable to Parliament, the Times said.

Pakistan's military rejected a Pentagon finding that both parties share responsibility for last month's NATO airstrike that killed 26 Pakistani soldiers, and a senior military official canceled a Friday visit by U.S. Gen. James Mattis to brief colleagues on the inquiry, the newspaper said.

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