Pakistan Army Denies Plan for ‘Takeover’

PM's Allegation of 'Conspiracy' Against Regime Fuels Speculation

With Pakistan’s external ties with the United States in constant doubt, its internal stability is actually garnering a greater amount of speculation today, following yesterday’s claims of a “conspiracy” against the ruling party by Prime Minister Yousef Raza Gilani.

The claim comes amid investigations into a “coup memo” that President Zardari reportedly sent to the US seeking help in ousting top Pakistani military officials, and military officials openly confirming that the Army wants to see Zardari gone.

Statements today from Chief of Army Staff Gen. Parvez Kayani sought to calm speculation of an imminent coup, insisting that they continue to support the “democratic process.” It seems clear however that the military would much prefer a democratic process that doesn’t have Zardari in a position of power.

As usual all of the speculation comes with meta-speculation about who is responsible for the initial speculation, and to that end Kayani insisted that the speculation about the coup was just the civilian regime’s effort to distract attention from the Supreme Court’s probe of the “coup memo.” The “coup memo” itself has been rejected by the ruling party, which insists it is a forgery by former Fox News Analyst Mansoor Ijaz, who seeks to undermine Zardari for some inscrutable reason.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.