Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. —File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday rebuffed the speculation that the government was planning to sack Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and DG ISI Gen. Shuja Pasha, DawnNews reported.

The reports about army chief and DG ISI were the latest in what has been feverish press speculation about a rift between civilian politicians and the military.

“As far as the rumours that the government wants to remove the DG-ISI and General Kayani, this impression is simply a fools' talk,” Gilani told reporters in comments broadcast on television.

“It is wrong to spread such talk. If this was the case, I wouldn't have given them extensions.... I am happy with his (army chief's) work and I want to dispel this impression.”

The government last year extended Kayani's term of office to 2013, while Pasha's term was extended to March 2012.

The prime mininster was briefing the representatives of electronic media at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad.

Rejecting the speculations in media circles, the prime minister said that he was satisfied with the performances of both military leaders.

“Generals are not sacked in a state of war,” said the prime minster.

He said the rumours were spread by few ‘opportunists’ who were seeking their own political goals.

He clarified that he pointed towards Defence Secretary Khalid Naeem Lodhi and not army chief or DG ISI during his speech in National Assembly when he talked about “state within state.”

“There is no clash between government and military,” he added.

Gilani reiterated that the parliament will complete its constitutional term regardless of him being the prime minster.

He suggested that the opponents must adopt a constitutional way to oust him from the rule. “I am not a stubborn child,” he added.

The prime minister said that all national institutions were working under the government’s ambit.


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