Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari says his government is not “at war” with the army and judiciary after a scandal over an unsigned memo asking for US help in curbing the might of the military.
Tension between the powerful army and Zardari’s weak civilian administration soared over the note, allegedly delivered to then US joint chiefs of staff admiral Mike Mullen in May and made public by an American-Pakistani businessman in October.
“We are not at war with the court. We are not at war with the military. There is no war,” Zardari said in excerpts of an interview to private Geo television which is to be broadcast late Saturday.
“You think it is a clash, but I say it is part of evolution. This clash will evolve and then simmer down.”
The businessman, Mansoor Ijaz, has claimed that Zardari feared the military might overthrow his government and accused then Pakistani ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani, of crafting the memo with the president’s support.
Haqqani, who later resigned his post, has denied the allegations and told Britain’s Daily Telegraph newspaper earlier this week that the charges were “false” and part of a “psychological war” against him.
He also voiced fears about his safety saying “there are clear security concerns given the hysteria generated against me”. The US on Friday appealed for Pakistan, Washington’s uneasy ally in the “war on terror”, to treat Haqqani “in a way that is fair, that’s transparent”.
Zardari’s deeply unpopular government is opposing an investigation ordered by the Supreme Court into the unsigned memo.