Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said all state institutions, including the judiciary and the Army, should work within their constitutional limits as tensions continued between the Pakistan's civilian government and the powerful military over the Memogate row.
“Parliament, judiciary and the Army — we respect all three and we want these three institutions to work while remaining within their constitutional limits,” said Mr. Gilani in televised concluding remarks at a special meeting of his Cabinet in the southern port city of Karachi.
“We are with them, we fully support them and we have no intention to see the fall of any institution,” he said.
Mr. Gilani further said his government was committed to working with all state institutions. “We are the elected people of Pakistan. We should respect the judiciary, we should respect the military, we should respect Parliament and we should also respect the media. There is a thin line but we will take all of them along. This is our commitment,” he said.
There has been widespread speculation that President Asif Ali Zardari, who spent almost a fortnight in Dubai earlier this month for medical treatment, would be forced out by the military over the scandal.
Sharp differences have emerged between the government and the Army over the alleged memo. The government has said Mr. Zardari and Mr. Gilani played no role in drafting or delivering the memo to the former U.S. military chief, Admiral Mike Mullen.
On Thursday, Mr. Gilani sharply criticised the Army, saying it was unacceptable for the institution to act as a “state within a state”. He also questioned the Army's failure to detect bin Laden's presence in Pakistan.
In an apparent response to Mr. Gilani's remarks about conspiracies being hatched against the government, General Kayani has said the Army would continue to support democracy. He dispelled speculation about a military takeover. The 100th meeting of Mr. Gilani's Cabinet was held in Karachi to mark the birth anniversary of founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
“It's an honour for the present government that it has completed 45 months and it will complete the five-year term given to it by the people of Pakistan,” Mr. Gilani told the 100th meeting of the federal Cabinet.
He said there was now no other option available other than the parliamentary democracy. “Parliamentary form of democracy was closest to the heart of the founder of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam, and he also didn't support the presidency form of governance,” he said.