`People will foil any attempt to overthrow govt`

Pakistani people would foil any attempt to overthrow the elected government, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said.

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2011, 18:06 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistani people would foil any
attempt to overthrow the elected government, Interior Minister
Rehman Malik said on Friday as speculation mounted in the country
of possibility of a silent coup.

Dismissing rumours of a coup following President Asif Ali Zardari`s sudden departure to Dubai for medical treatment,
Malik, a close aide of the President, said: "... if someone
tries to do something to the government, the people will foil
such attempts."

"The people have given us a mandate for five years
through elections and votes," Malik told reporters outside
parliament.

His remarks came against the backdrop of rampant
speculation over the fate of Zardari, who suddenly departed
for Dubai on Tuesday to undergo tests for what officials said
was a previously diagnosed cardiovascular condition.

Malik dismissed questions from reporters on whether the
government was facing a serious crisis, saying the situation
was "not as complex" as people were making it out to be.

Officials have denied reports that Zardari suffered a
minor heart attack and that he had undergone surgery in Dubai.
The presidential spokesman said yesterday that he was
stable and recuperating in a hospital.

However, the government has not set a date for Zardari`s
return to Pakistan and this has fuelled speculation about his
health and fate.

Zardari, 56, has been at the centre of a storm since
Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz made public a
secret memo delivered to the US military that sought American
aid to help prevent a military coup in the wake of the killing
of Osama bin Laden in May.

PTI