Pakistani Army desires democracy: Gilani

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that there was "no chance" of a military coup in Pakistan ever.

Davos: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that there was "no chance" of a military coup in Pakistan ever as all stakeholders including the Army, desires democracy and stability in the country.

"I don`t think there will be a coup in Pakistan ever. There is no threat to democracy," Gilani told reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in Switzerland.

No state institution, including the military, or the people of Pakistan want a coup and all stakeholders favour a democracy, he said.

There was "no chance" of a military takeover, he said. Gilani`s remarks came against the backdrop of the worst political crisis endured by his nearly four-year-old government - a standoff with the military over an alleged memo that had sought US help to prevent a possible coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.

Gilani also spoke on a host of other issues, including Pakistan-US ties following the cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year. He described the incident as a "turning point" in ties that created a "bad taste".

Even before the NATO attack, there were a number of other incidents that had strained ties between the two countries to a large extent, he said yesterday.

Pakistan`s Parliament will define the new terms of engagement for the US, Gilani said. He hoped these new terms would be "more productive and lasting". Under the policies of the previous military regime, former president Pervez Musharraf took all decisions without taking the people into confidence, he remarked. "If there is no support of the public, no one can win a war," Gilani said.

Asked about US drone strikes in Pakistan`s tribal belt, Gilani said the country was against the spy plane campaign as it was "illegal and counterproductive".


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