Pakistani PM conciliatory toward military

Jan. 25, 2012 at 9:55 PM   |   Comments

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said Wednesday the country's civilian and military leaders "have to be seen to be on the same page."

Gilani talked to reporters a day after he held a meeting with the heads of the military and intelligence agencies, The New York Times reported. He made his remarks shortly before his departure for the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"I want to dispel the impression that the military leadership acted unconstitutionally or violated rules," Gilani said. "We have to be seen on the same page."

Mansoor Ijaz, a U.S. businessman from a Pakistani family, said in a newspaper article in October he had sent a secret memo to the U.S. government seeking help in averting a military coup in Pakistan. He said he acted on behalf of the government of Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari.

The affair has become known in Pakistan as Memogate. Ijaz said the memo was sent at the request of Pakistan's ambassador to Washington in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden, CNN reported.

Gilani said in late December there was a danger of the military being "a state within a state." He accused Gen. Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of the Army, and Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, head of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, of unconstitutional actions.

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