‘Gilani did not speak to UK envoy seeking help’

Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 18:51

Islamabad: The Pakistan government on Friday
denied a media report that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
had called the British envoy and sought his support to prevent
a feared military takeover.

The spokesman for the Prime Minister`s House "strongly
denied" the news report that Gilani spoke to the British High
Commissioner last week "seeking British help to pre-empt a
coup".

"The Prime Minister has not spoken to the British High
Commissioner in this regard and the agency’s story is
totally unfounded," the spokesman said in a brief statement.
The "democratic government led by Prime Minister draws its
strength from the people of Pakistan and not from any foreign
power", the spokesman said.

The media report had quoted an unnamed British official
and a Pakistani official as saying that the Prime Minister had
made a "panicky" call to British envoy Adam Thompson and
expressed fears that the Pakistan Army might be about to stage
a coup.

The call suggested there was a "genuine fear at the
highest level of the Pakistani government" that the army might
carry out a coup or support possible moves by the Supreme
Court to topple the civilian leadership, the report said.

The report came against the backdrop of escalating
tensions between the weak civilian government on the one side
and the Army and judiciary on the other.

The Army is engaged in a standoff with the government over
an alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a
possible coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.

The Supreme Court is pressuring the government to reopen
high-profile graft cases and has warned that action could be
taken against the President and Prime Minister if they failed
to act on its orders.

PTI



First Published: Friday, January 13, 2012 - 18:51

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