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

Diplomats Work to Extend Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry, diplomats from France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Turkey and Qatar gathered in Paris Saturday to discuss crisis More

Photogallery US Defense Department Warns of Arms to Eastern Ukraine

‘Imminent’ delivery of Russian rocket launcher poses threat to civilians, US says More

Video Researchers: Africa Genetically Modified Crops Held Back by Scaremongering

GM crops offer best hope of increasing productivity and coping with climate change in Africa, according to co-author of Chatham House report 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.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid