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Pak Army denies having played any role in Gilani's ouster

June 26, 2012 - Washington

The Pakistan Army has denied any involvement in the events leading to the ouster of Yousuf Raza Gilani as the premier, saying the accusations, some of which come from the U.S., are based on false narratives.

A senior Pakistani military official said the military had been falsely accused for years of using various insurgency groups, branches of government or political parties for their own benefit, reports The Nation.

Raja Pervez Ashraf replaced Gilani last week after the Supreme Court disqualified the latter for failing to investigate corruption charges against President Asif Ali Zardari.

"At first we were being accused of being in cahoots with the government - and now with the Supreme Court - to have the government removed," the military official said.

"We are not loyal to an individual but to the Constitution of our country. Don't place us in a camp because it suits the narrative of others for us to be placed in that camp."

Some senior U.S. military and government officials contend that Pakistan's military and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) have been directing a systematic removal of government officials friendly to the U.S.

Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who has advised the last four presidents on South Asia and the Middle East, said, "The army and the court wants to remove President Zardari and have tried one tactic after another."

"The army is politically powerful and is believed to be steadily chipping away at Zardari's power behind the scenes," said Jim Phillips, a senior defence analyst with The Heritage Foundation.

The Army, added Phillips, would be happy to undermine the current government to prevent its civilian leaders from threatening its power and privileges.


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