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Gilani U-turn: army 'pillar of nation's strength'

world Updated: Jan 15, 2012 00:29 IST

Embattled Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday appeared to reach out to the powerful army by stating that all state institutions will be allowed to play their role in an apparent bid to resolve the tense stand off between the government and the military.

With army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani by his side, he described the armed forces as a “pillar of nation’s resilience and strength” and lauded their services to the nation.

The PM’s seemingly conciliatory remarks came on a day when Kayani met President Asif Ali Zardari, in the midst of a tense stand-off between the military and the government.

'PM criticism divisive'
Kayani is furious with the PM for statements criticising the army and has demanded that they be clarified or withdrawn, a senior military source said on Saturday.

“The army chief complained to the president about the prime minister’s statements,” the source said. “He said such statements were divisive and made the country more vulnerable.”

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