Pakistan PM hits out at army amid ouster fears

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s embattled Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday said conspirators were plotting to bring down his government and delivered an unprecedented tirade against the powerful military.

In astonishing confirmation that he fears being ousted, he angrily denied the government was subservient to the army, long considered the chief arbiter of power in Pakistan as his administration grapples with a damaging scandal.

Pressures are at boiling point over a memo, allegedly written with approval from the president, asking for US help to prevent a feared military coup after Osama bin Laden was killed in May.

Rampant speculation that President Asif Ali Zardari could be forced out of office over the scandal and illness has refused to ease, despite his return to the capital following two weeks of medical treatment in Dubai.

“I want to make it clear today that conspiracies are being hatched here to pack up the elected government,” Gilani told a gathering at the National Arts Gallery, without naming anyone.

“But we will continue to fight for the rights of people of Pakistan whether or not we remain in the government,” Gilani said, declaring himself the country’s longest serving premier, with 45 months on the job. ….

Read more » One Pakistan

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