`Gilani didn`t seek Britain`s help to avert coup`

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani did not seek Britain`s help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan, authorities said.

Last Updated: Jan 14, 2012, 12:28 PM IST

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani did not seek Britain`s help to prevent a military take-over in Pakistan, authorities said.

A spokesman of the Prime Minister House Friday denied a news report which claimed that Gilani had telephoned the British high commissioner for his help to avert a coup.

Coup rumours have swirled in the country ever since a secret memo to Washington came to light last year that said President Asif Ali Zardari had feared an army take-over after Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in Abbottabad, near Islamabad, May 2 last year.

Zardari`s abrupt departure to Dubai in December last year as well as the lingering stand-off between the political leadership and the powerful army have fuelled rumours of a coup.

A statement from the Prime Minister`s House mentioned a news report by a foreign news agency that Gilani spoke to British High Commissioner Adam Thomson last week seeking the British help to pre-empt the coup, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

The spokesman said: "The prime minister has not spoken to the British high commissioner in this regard and the story is totally unfounded."

IANS