WASHINGTON, Jan 11: The Pentagon said on Wednesday the US military chief Gen Martin Dempsey had telephoned Gen Ashfaq Pervez Kayani but the United States neither sought nor received any assurance from the Pakistani military that it would not stage a coup.

At a Pentagon briefing, US defence officials also said a conflict between civilian and military establishments would not necessarily affect Pakistan’s ties with the United States.

“Have you sought or received any assurances from the Pakistani military or Pakistani military leaders that they are not interested in staging a coup?” asked a journalist during a regular briefing at the Pentagon.

“I’m not aware that we’ve sought any assurances, and I don’t think we’re aware that we’ve been given any,” said Navy Captain John Kirby, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for media operations.

“This is a matter for Pakistani officials and government leaders there, military and civilian, to work out,” he added.

When another journalist sought comments on Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s decision to sack the defence secretary, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said: “I wouldn’t comment on what’s happening inside the Pakistani political system with respect to jobs that are being left or taken.”

“Have there been any calls related to the latest developments there in Pakistan? And how concerned are you about the stability of the military structure there?” asked another journalist.

“My understanding is that Gen Dempsey has been in contact with Gen Kayani. It was a productive and professional conversation. I’m not going to get into the details. But that call has taken place ... a call that happened recently,” Mr Little said.

“The important thing with Pakistan is for us to continue that dialogue at all levels,” he added.