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Pakistan Prime Minister Fires Defense Secretary
Pakistan’s prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has fired his defense secretary retired Lieutenant-General Khalid Lodhi for ‘gross misconduct’ -- and the move has big implications. Here’s WHDH. “Tensions between the Pakistani government and the army continue to rise. This morning, the prime minister fired the country’s defense secretary. The move that will likely create more conflict is said to be over a memo sent to Washington seeking US help to reign in Pakistan’s generals.” The BBC reports there is a rift between the civilian government and the military. Lodhi had argued the government has no authority over the army. His firing combined with comments Prime Minister Gilani made criticizing the army earlier this week has led the army to promise big consequences for the government. “It’s bringing this confrontation, really, to crisis point. ... The prime minister has talked about evidence that the military was preparing for a coup. ... The army is going to be upset about this, as I say -- this is a man recommended as Defense Secretary by the current army chief. There are many here speculating the army doesn’t want to rest now until this government falls -- it’s been so infuriated by decisions that have been made.” The army hasn’t gone into detail about what those consequences would be, but, the BBC reports the government is expected to stand its ground.
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