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Don't want any conflict with SC, Army: Zardari

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Last Updated: January 13, 2012, 11:47 IST

Don't want any conflict with SC, Army: Zardari

The special session of Pakistan's national Assembly to discuss the ongoing crisis in the country started on Friday.

Islamabad: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who returned from Dubai on Friday, has said that he does not want any confrontation with the Army and the Supreme Court. Sources close to Zardari said, "We don't want any confrontation with the Army and the Supreme Court. The matter with the Supreme Court will be sorted out."

Sources said that the main aim of the government is to bring the economy back on track.

Zardari reached Islamabad on Friday morning from Dubai, where he had gone on a personal visit. Pakistan's national Assembly met for a special session on Friday over the ongoing political crisis in the country.

Speaking on his abrupt Dubai visit, Zardari said, "My visit to Dubai was scheduled and personal." His abrupt departure on Thursday had fuelled speculation of whether he will return.

The Supreme Court will be key even as the Pakistan government claimed to have struck a peace deal with the Army ahead of the special session.

Earlier, the ruling PPP met to decide if there will be confidence motion ahead of the special session of the Assembly.

While PPL allies including the ANP and the MQM have assured support in case of a confidence motion, the Opposition PML-N has approved two options. It will either give a notice for a no-confidence motion or call for mass resignations from the National Assembly. Imran Khan's Tehreek-e-Insaaf also favours a no-confidence motion.

Pakistan's unfolding political drama has been getting a new twist every hour. After a night of speculation of a coup, Pakistan woke up on Thursday to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's assertion that the Army had only issued its statement criticising him after he gave his approval.

A peace deal seemed to have been struck with the Army clarifying that there was to be no meeting of the top commanders either.

Amidst fears of a military coup in Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari left for Dubai for a one-day visit. Presidential sources termed Zardari's visit as a private visit. Sources had also indicated that Zardari may meet former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

This came, even as the Opposition demanded Zardari and Gilani's resignation.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan lashed out at the Pakistan government led by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, demanding their resignation. He said that early elections were the only way out of the country's current crisis, but also added that he won't support a military coup.

"I have been hearing 'go Zardari go' slogans. If you are serious, then resign from the Assembly and there will be an automatic situation for elections," Khan said on Thursday.

The row erupted after Gilani sacked the Defence Secretary Lt Gen(retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, considered to be close to the military, raising fears of a coup.

A disputed memo allegedly from Zardari's government seeking U.S. help in reining in the military has soured relations to their lowest point since a coup in 1999.

Imran Khan claimed that Gilani could have sacked the Defence Secretary on the orders of Zardari. "The Prime Minister is a puppet of President Zardari. He cannot be doing this alone," Khan said.

This has come at a time when Gilani and his government are already on a collision course with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court called Gilani 'dishonest and dishonourable' on Wednesday.

The Gilani government has also been facing public anger over prices, shortages and corruption.

The Supreme Court has made it clear that it will hear both the corruption case against Zardari and the memogate controversy on Monday.

first published:January 13, 2012, 11:47 IST
last updated:January 13, 2012, 11:47 IST