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Pakistani PM says tension with army removed

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 26, IRNA -- Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani Wednesday stepped forward to dispel the growing impression of confrontation with the powerful army and said, ‘discrepancies made by certain functionaries’ have been removed.

The prime minister and the army had been involved in war of words over the alleged memo that sought U.S. help to stop a possible military coup after the death of Osama bin Laden in May.

The row started when the army and intelligence chiefs submitted statements in the Supreme Court, pleading that the memo is a reality and should be investigated.

The government, on contrary, argued in the apex court that the memo is fake and that it has nothing to do with the document.

A Pakistan-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz disclosed in October that he had been asked by former Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Hussain Haqqani to send the memo to then U.S. army chief Mike Mullen.

The Prime Minister had angrily reacted to the statements submitted by the army and the intelligence chiefs in the Supreme Court and had described the action as violation of their official conduct. The prime minister also sacked the defence secretary for submitting statements of the army and intelligence chiefs without the government’s permission.

The army in a strong-worded and rare statement rejected the prime minister’s statement and warned that allegations against the army and intelligence chiefs would produce ‘grievous consequences’ for the country.

'There were lot of events taking place, and there was overlapping by lot of government functionaries on many issues, and I said in that context,' Gilani said.

'Later when we found out some of the discrepancies made by certain functionaries, I have taken action against them; now it does not pertain to those remarks unconstitutional or against the rules for the Army Chief and the Director General Inter-Services Intelligence.'

About his earlier remarks about the army, the Prime Minister said, 'I am dispelling that the remarks given at that occasion; they were under unique situation when the things were overlapping and there was no clarity. But since there is clarity and now we have all met and that does not pertain to these two gentlemen.'

Replying to another question about the relations within the institutions, the prime minister said, “The country cannot work in an atmosphere of confrontation among the institutions. Therefore, for the national interest we have to be on the same page.'

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30782199

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