PM fires Defence Secretary


Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has sacked his defence secretary, Lt. Gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi for “gross misconduct and illegal action.”

The move comes as the so called Memogate controversy rumbles on. The controversy centres on a memo addressed to Admiral Mike Mullen, an official in the Obama administration, seeking the help of the United States to prevent a military takeover of the civilian government in Pakistan. The matter is currently with the Supreme Court who are investigating the origins of the memo.

The Memogate affair has worsened relations between the civilian government and the military and this sacking is another attempt by the civilian government to retain control. The military in Pakistan has always played a crucial role in civilian affairs and there have been several coup attempts over the years.

Nargis Sethi the Cabinet Secretary has taken on the additional role of defence secretary but the military has said that they will not work with her. Chief of Army Staff, General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani has called an emergency meeting of his top commanders today. The army has said that it will not react violently.

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