Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday sought to put a simmering row between his government and the military behind him, saying he had criticised the actions of the army and intelligence chiefs in certain circumstances that no longer prevailed.
Referring to his comments about the army and ISI chiefs acting in an unconstitutional and illegal manner in the memo scandal, Gilani said those remarks were made at a time when “there were lot of events taking place and there were lot of government functionaries whose issues were overlapping”.
“Now it doesnt pertain, those remarks of unconstitutional (behaviour) or (acting) against the rules for the army chief and the DG ISI,” he said while interacting with the media before he left for Davos to attend the World Economic Forum.
“The country cannot function when there is confrontation between institutions. So for the national interest, we have to be seen on the same page,” Gilani told reporters at Chaklala military airbase in Rawalpindi.
The government had found some “discrepancies” that were “made by certain functionaries” in handling the memo issue, he said. “Ive taken action against them,” he added.
The situation now was clear and there was no ambiguity, he said. Though Gilani did not name of the functionaries responsible for the discrepancies, he was apparently referring to former Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Naeem Lodhi, whom the premier sacked earlier this month for creating misunderstandings between state institutions.
Gilani had triggered a storm on January 9 when he said during an interview that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha had acted in an unconstitutional and illegal manner by submitting affidavits on the memo issue to the Supreme Court without getting the Defence Ministers approval.