Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. —AP photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf raza Gilani on Wednesday appeared to back down from a confrontation with the military, moving away from remarks made earlier that it had acted unconstitutionally in supporting a court investigation of a controversial memo.

“I want to dispel the impression that the military leadership acted unconstitutionally or violated rules,” said Gilani, according to state television.

His comments appeared to be a bid to defuse tensions between the country's civilian leaders and the powerful military and came a day after a high-level meeting with the military to discuss a possible trilateral summit on the future of Afghanistan.

“The current situation cannot afford conflict among the institutions,” he added.

Gilani left here today for Davos to attend the annual summit of the World Economic Forum.

He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and other officials.

He is scheduled to hold meetings with world leaders who will gather at Davos, the Alpine Resort of Switzerland to deliberate upon the global economic issues.

Gilani had criticised the military earlier this month when he said affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha on 'memogate' were 'unconstitutional and illegal'.

In an interview with the People's Daily Online of China, which was released by the official Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Mr Gilani said since the COAS and ISI DG had submitted their replies to the court without seeking approval of the competent authority under the rules of business, the statements carried no legal import.

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