News / Asia

Pakistani President, Army Chief Meet, Aiming to Defuse Split

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari (file photo).

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has met with the country's army chief for talks, amid rising tensions between Pakistan's civilian government and its powerful military that threaten to destablize the country's weak civilian government.

Pakistani officials say Zardari held talks Saturday with army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to discuss the security situation in the country.  Officials gave no other details on the meeting.

Later Saturday, General Kayani and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani attended a meeting before the government's defense committee.

In an apparent effort to defuse tensions,  Gilani said at the meeting that Pakistan's government and parliament have stood fully behind the military. He also said Pakistan's sovereignty and territorial integrity are non-negotiable.

Tensions between the government and military stem from an unsigned memo that allegedly sought U.S. help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan.

Pakistan's Supreme Court is investigating the memo, which was allegedly sent by a Pakistani official to the U.S. military last year.

A few days ago, Gilani fired Pakistan's defense secretary for his role in submitting statements to the Supreme Court made by two top security officials.

Gilani also accused the two officials, army chief Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence head Lieutenant General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, of acting unlawfully by making unilateral submissions to the Supreme Court inquiry.

Those remarks prompted Pakistan's military to warn of "grievous consequences" for the country.

A Supreme Court-appointed panel is probing the origins of the unsigned memo in which Pakistan's civilian government asked for U.S. help in reining in the Pakistani military following the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden last May.

The existence of the memo surfaced in October when Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz accused the then-Pakistani ambassador to the U.S., Husain Haqqani, of writing the memo.  Haqqani denies writing the document and has since resigned.

The army has ruled Pakistan for most of its existence since independence from Britain in 1947.  There have been three military coups in Pakistan, and no civilian government has ever completed its term in office.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid