22 September 2019

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The Times of London  has disclosed, quoting a Pakistani military official, that the generals would “only step in if asked by the senior most judge in Pakistan.”

The disclosure is included in a report filed by two reporters of The Times, Francis Elliot and Aoun Sahi, who reported that “following the (corps commanders’) meeting, a military official told The Times that the generals would only step in if asked by the most senior judge in Pakistan.”

“There is no chance of a coup in Pakistan right now. The military is not going to allow the PPP to become political martyrs,” the newspaper said. Quoting the military officer, The Times said: “We believe in democracy and the Constitution of the country and we are looking towards the Supreme Court. We will consider helping implement (the) court’s decision if civil authorities fail to implement it.”

These words attributed to the Pakistan Army are the first direct signal that the army generals would follow the orders of the Supreme Court of Pakistan if they were asked to help implement the judgments of the SC under Article 190.

The Times report also made the disclosure quoting “some observers” who predicted that Prime Minister Gilani may be considering to resign as part of a move to deflect the pressure on the president and regain the moral high ground for the government led by President Zardari’s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

The newspaper report said President Zardari has also asked Aitzaz Ahsan, a leading lawyer and former ally of his late wife, Benazir Bhutto, to conduct secret negotiations with the court. Aitzaz Ahsan is also being tipped as a possible replacement for Gilani.

Pakistan's prime minister telephoned the top British diplomat in the country this week expressing fears that the Pakistani army might be about to stage a coup, a British official and an official in Islamabad said Friday.

But, both the Prime Minister House and British High Commission denied any such call.

The call, which one official said was "panicky", suggests there was - or perhaps still is - a genuine fear at the highest level of the Pakistani government that army might carry out a coup or support possible moves by the Supreme Court to topple the civilian leadership.

PAK Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani asked High Commissioner Adam Thomson for Britain to support his embattled government, according to the officials, who didn't give their names because of the sensitivity of the issue. It's unclear if the British government took any action.

The Prime Minister House strongly denied the report. The spokesman said: "the prime minister has not spoken to the British High Commissioner in this regard and the story is totally unfounded."

‘The democratic government led by Prime Minister Gilani draws its strength from the people of Pakistan and not from any foreign power.’

In a statement issued by the spokesperson of British High Commission said, "The story about a recent phone call between UK High Commissioner Adam Thomson and Prime Minister Gilani is untrue."

The HC further stated that "there has been no such call

A suicide bomber disguised as a policeman killed at least 50 people and wounded scores in an attack on Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims at a checkpoint in the southern Iraqi city of Basra on Saturday, police said.

The attack at the end of Arbain, one of the main religious observances on the Shi'ite calendar, came as a political crisis in the Shi'ite-led government renewed fears of a return to sectarian violence in the country.

"A terrorist wearing a police uniform and carrying fake police I.D. managed to reach a police checkpoint and blew himself up among police and pilgrims," said a police official at the scene of the bombing.

The pilgrims had been on their way to a major Shi'ite mosque to the west of Basra, police said.

Security forces sealed off the main hospital in Basra, fearing further attacks. Weeping relatives gathered at the hospital as soldiers, police and civilians rushed blood-covered victims there. Some of the wounded were stuffed into car trunks.

A provincial health official who asked not to be named put the toll at 50 dead and 90 wounded.

 (BNA) A US missile strike targeting a militant vehicle killed four rebels on Thursday in the second drone strike in 48 hours to hit Pakistan's tribal region, .

A drone strike on Tuesday signaled apparent resumption of the covert CIA campaign after a two-month lull to avoid a worsening of US-Pakistan relations after a NATO raid that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, infuriating Islamabad.

The latest missiles struck in the New Adda area, 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan tribal region.

"US drones fired four missiles targeting a rebels' vehicle and killing four militants," a local security official told on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media.

Another security official confirmed the strike and casualties. He said the identities of those killed were not immediately known.

On Tuesday two missiles struck a compound, also in the outskirts of Miranshah, in the first such strike since November 17. Four people were killed.

The US drone campaign has reportedly killed dozens of Al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives and hundreds of low-ranking fighters in the remote areas bordering Afghanistan since the first Predator strike in 2004.

But the programme fuels widespread anti-American sentiment throughout Pakistan, which has been especially high since the deadly NATO incident on November 26.

A joint US-NATO investigation concluded last month that a catalogue of errors and botched communications led to the soldiers' deaths. But Pakistan rejected the findings, insisting the strikes had been deliberate.

NATO's probe said that both sides failed to give the other information about their operational plans or the location of troops and that there was inadequate coordination by US and Pakistani officers.

The incident prompted Islamabad to block NATO supply convoys heading to Afghanistan and order the United States to leave Shamsi air base in western Pakistan, from where it is believed to have launched some of its drones.

Others are flown from within Afghanistan.

The region had served as the main supply route for NATO forces operating in Afghanistan before the suspension triggered by the November incident

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