Pakistan PM Seeks to Ease Tensions With Military

Posted January 25th, 2012 at 10:15 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is backing away from his criticism of the country's army and intelligence chiefs, in a sign that the civilian government is looking to ease tensions with the military.

Earlier this month, Mr. Gilani told China's People's Daily that army chief General Ashfaq Kayani and intelligence chief Lieutenant General Ahmed Shuja Pasha acted unconstitutionally by making unilateral submissions to an ongoing Supreme Court inquiry into a controversial, unsigned memo. The court is investigating the origins of the memo, which allegedly sought U.S. help in preventing a military coup in Pakistan.

On Wednesday, the prime minister told reporters that he wanted to dispel the impression that the two generals “acted unconstitutionally or violated rules.”

Mr. Gilani said the country “cannot work in an atmosphere of confrontation” among institutions.

The Pakistani prime minister's comments come a day after he met with Kayani and Pasha to discuss the security situation in neighboring Afghanistan.

Analysts say the remarks are seen as the latest attempt to calm escalating tensions between the civilian government and the military after the memo scandal broke last October. The army was angered by the memo, in which Pakistan's government reportedly asked for U.S. help in reining in the country's military.