Islamabad: As the memogate scandal continue
to give room for conspiracy theorists, Pakistan President Asif
Ali Zardari and his powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez
Kayani spoke to each other "by chance" on phone, their first
direct communication since the sudden departure of the former
to Dubai on Dec 6 for medical treatment.
The government tried to play down the significance of the
conversation by saying that "they talked by chance", the newspaper reported .
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told a select group of
reporters yesterday evening that during his meeting with the
army chief on Friday night, he received a telephone call from
the President by chance.
He said when he informed Zardari that he was having a
meeting with the army chief, he asked him to convey his
regards to Kayani.
Gilani said he handed over the receiver to Kayani to
enable the two persons to have a "chat".
Gilani, however, did not say anything about the subject
the two discussed during the conversation.
The Presidency`s spokesman, Farhatullah Khan Babar, denied
that Zardari had discussed the memo issue or any other
political matter with the army chief.
He said the army chief enquired about the health of the
president and wished him an early recovery while the President
thanked him for his good wishes.
Babar said it was not a planned contact and "they talked
by chance", the newspaper reported.
Asked why the government did not tell the media about the
telephone contact on Friday night, the spokesman said "it was
feared that if word got out, it would be all grist to rumour
and media mills".
The prime minister and the army chief, through their
two-hour meeting, had tried to dispel the impression of a
confrontation between the civilian and military leaders over
the memo case being heard by the Supreme Court.