Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani fired his defense secretary Wednesday, a move that spiked tensions between the South Asian nation's civilian government and its all-powerful military.
The prime minister's spokesman confirmed to CNN the firing of Naeem Khalid Lodhi. State media reported that it was for "gross misconduct and illegal action."
The move came after Pakistan's military issued a statement warning of "grievous consequences" of a Gilani interview in The People's Daily Online of China. In it, the military said, Gilani accused the army's chief of staff and the head of the Inter-Services Intelligence spy agency of violating the constitution.
"There can be no allegation more serious than what the honorable prime minister has leveled," the statement said. "This has very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country."
The latest tension comes as Pakistan's Supreme Court investigates a controversial, unsigned memo allegedly drafted by the civilian leadership in which it asked the United States to help rein in the nation's powerful military.
The so-called Memogate scandal has unleashed waves of political intrigue in recent weeks, and the media has described a government on a collision course with its own army.FULL STORY