Islamabad, Dec 26: Pakistan government is seriously contemplating the removal of powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI head Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha against the backdrop of a standoff on a memo alleging an army plot to seize power, according to a media report today.
The government's “extreme unhappiness” with Kayani, currently on a three-year extension, and Pasha, who received a one-year extension in service last year, is an “open secret”, The News daily quoted its sources as saying.
The two generals have been held responsible for forcing Pakistan to adopt an “extremely harsh stance” towards the US after last month's NATO air strike, the report said.
They also “adopted a diabolically opposing stance to that of the government” on the alleged memo that sought US help to stave off a possible military coup in Pakistan in May.
The Memogate scandal could cause “extremely serious problems” for the ruling Pakistan People's Party and some top leaders in their individual capacity if it is properly investigated, the report said.
“Saner voices in the inner most circles of the President and the Prime Minister” have advocated “restraint and caution” as recent events, including the serious divergence of opinion on matters of national security, have created the impression that the entire security establishment is “under attack from its own political leadership”, the report added.
Commenting on the possible response of the security establishment if the two generals were fired, a source told the daily: “Nobody knows and hopefully nobody will have to find the answer to this troubling question. In fact, were such an action to take place and even if the concerned officers accepted the decision and went home, nobody knows how the institution will react.”