Skip to: Content
Skip to: Site Navigation
Skip to: Search

Pakistan's civilian government and Army in war of words

Pakistan's Army warned of 'grievous consequences' after the prime minister challenged its place in the constitutional order, raising concerns of another coup.

By Chris BrummittAssociated Press / January 11, 2012

In this June 2011 file photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (r.) talks to Afghan President Hamid Karzai (unseen) with Pakistan's army chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (c.), and Pakistan's intelligence Chief Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha (l.) during an inaugural meeting at the Prime Minister's house in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistan's military warned Wednesday of 'grievous consequences' for the country after the prime minister accused the Army chief of violating the constitution, raising concerns of another coup.

Anjum Naveed/AP/File



Pakistan's military warned Wednesday of "grievous consequences" for the country after the prime minister accused the Army chief of violating the constitution, adding to a sense of crisis that some believe could end in the ouster of government.

Skip to next paragraph

The government dismissed the defense secretary, a retired general seen as an Army representative within the civilian government, another ominous sign of near-open conflict in a nation that has seen repeated military coups in its six-decade history.

Tensions between the Army and the government of President Asif Ali Zardari have soared since a scandal involving a memo sent to Washington asking for its help in reining in the Army broke late last year. The memo outraged the Army, and the Supreme Court ordered a probe to establish whether it had been sanctioned by Zardari.

As part of the investigation, Army chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and the head of the main spy agency, Lt Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, submitted statements to the court in which they suggested the memo was part of a conspiracy against the Army.

This week, Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani said in an interview to a Chinese newspaper that Kayani and Pasha had violated the constitution by doing this. The interview was also published by Pakistan's state-run news agency.

An Army statement said those allegations had "very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country." It did not elaborate.

Around the same time, Defense Secretary Lt. Gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi was fired because of "misconduct" relating to his role in submitting the statements to the court, according to a government official who didn't give his name because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Lodhi is regarded as having more power than the defense minister because of his direct ties to the Army high command.

Get daily or weekly updates from delivered to your inbox. Sign up today. 

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story

  • Weekly review of global news and ideas
  • Balanced, insightful and trustworthy
  • Subscribe in print or digital

Special Offer


Doing Good


What happens when ordinary people decide to pay it forward? Extraordinary change...

Danny Bent poses at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, Mass.

After the Boston Marathon bombings, Danny Bent took on a cross-country challenge

The athlete-adventurer co-founded a relay run called One Run for Boston that started in Los Angeles and ended at the marathon finish line to raise funds for victims.

Become a fan! Follow us! Google+ YouTube See our feeds!