Islamabad: Amid a tense standoff between
Pakistan`s civilian and military leadership, the government
on Friday told the Supreme Court that it has no intention to sack
the Army and intelligence chiefs who were accused of acting in
an "unconstitutional and illegal" manner in the memo scandal.
Attorney General Anwar-ul-Haq informed a three-judge
bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry of the
government`s position while responding to a petition that had
asked the apex court to restrain the civilian administration
from taking any action against Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez
Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt Gen Ahmed
Lawyer F K Butt, who filed the petition, had asked the
court to direct the government not to take any steps against
the Army and ISI chiefs like the recent sacking of Defence
Secretary (retired) Lt Gen Khalid Naeem Lodhi by Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
Butt contended that, according to media reports, the
government could sack the Army and ISI chiefs over the memo
The Attorney General drew the court`s attention to a
statement on the issue by the Prime Minister and said Butt
certainly had information about this statement.
He said the court should not rely on media reports as the
petition was based on mere speculation.
The Chief Justice directed the Attorney General to seek
instructions from the government and to file a detailed reply
on the matter in two weeks. The top judge further observed
that the situation should "move towards an improvement".
Tensions between the government and the military reached
a peak last week after Gilani said the Army and intelligence
chiefs had acted in an "unconstitutional and illegal" manner
by filing affidavits on the memo issue in the apex court
without getting the government`s approval.
The Prime Minister sacked Lodhi, a confidant of the Army
chief, on charges of gross misconduct and creating
misunderstandings between the government and the military.
Lodhi has challenged his dismissal in court, saying he
was given no opportunity to explain his position.
Lodhi earned the premier`s ire by filing an affidavit in
the Supreme Court that contended the government had no
operational control of the Army and ISI.
The affidavit was filed in a case related to the memo
scandal that has triggered a simmering row between the
government and the military.
The alleged memo had sought US help to stave off a feared
military takeover in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin
Laden in May last year.