Memogate case: Kayani, Pasha replies were illegal, implies PM

Published: January 10, 2012
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Says they were not authorised by competent authority.

Says they were not authorised by competent authority.

ISLAMABAD: Having initially backtracked from cutting comments made against the military in a scathing speech in parliament, the prime minister has fired another salvo – this time questioning the acts of the military brass.

Speaking to Peoples Daily Online, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is reported to have stated that army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha had not been given approval by the ‘competent authorities’ – in other words the government – before submitting their responses in the Memogate case.

Read together with his referral to remarks made by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry that an act from a government functionary made without a prior nod from the government was unconstitutional, the premier was implying that Kayani and Pasha’s replies to the Supreme Court were illegal, given they did not have clearance.

The prime minister had earlier expressed similar concerns on the same issue when the matter was before the Supreme Court, only to retract them later saying he was mistaken. But now Kayani and Pasha seem willing to appear before and give statements to the court-mandated judicial commission, too.

When pressed by the interviewer, Gilani emphasised that the pair had not taken permission from the defence ministry or the defence minister before submitting their rejoinders.

Gilani also stated that in the two issues which had recently rocked the political and military establishment – the Nato border attacks and Memogate – the civilian and military leadership of Pakistan had considered the matter collectively and taken quick, decisive action. The resignation of Husain Haqqani was also accepted by both civilian and military leaders, Gilani said.

The PM went on to say that the parliamentary committee on national security was dealing with the two issues.

Gilani also expressed his view that it was only after the two issues were taken up by the committee that the Supreme Court took suo motu action on Memogate.

It may be recalled that Kayani is on an official visit to China – a trip during which he has met the Chinese premier. The meeting has raised a number of eyebrows.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2012.

Reader Comments (48)

  • Khurram
    Jan 10, 2012 - 4:35AM

    Without question the Memogate is becoming consistently fascinating.

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  • Sindhvoice
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:00AM

    PM takes stand and shows his authority and power he possesses and all pro democracy people welcomes his stand but unfortunately he backtracks very next day. PPP used to be fearless and it faced worst dictators, Jiyalas faced prisons, terror, courts and much more but they never bow down before Military dictatorships. PPP used to be party of principles and pro-people.But today, people from all provinces esp Baluchistan and Sindh who had big expectations from PPP are also unhappy due to poor performance of PPP government. Anyways despite PPP’s failure to bring better change in the lives of common man, people are not ready to allow any one to dislodge PPP through some conspiracy or hidden plan. If PPP does not deliver, It is sole right of people of Pakistan to reject PPP or Elect PPP in next Election, it is not the business of any powerful institution to get involved in such affairs.

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  • Hakabukka
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:05AM

    Asking the establishment to go by the book, “approval of the relevant competent authority” sounds very “bizarre”! All are equal but some are more equal than others….

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  • Babloo
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:23AM

    Mr Gilani is right. Mr Kayani and Mr Pasha, report to civilian authority as elected by the people of Pakistan and should direct all replies in consultation and with approval of Mr Gilani.

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  • hasan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:23AM

    I can’t wait to read the comments to this story:
    1. “Better for us if we ignore him”;
    2. “PM speaks and then thinks”; and the classic comment
    3. “PM will claim tomorrow that he has been taken out of context”.

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  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:46AM

    You will soon know who is the real competent authority.

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  • Basharit
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:05AM

    Bye bye pop goverment

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  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:16AM

    Not true. Rules of business do not prohibit this.

    Is it being suggested that every time a Commissioner of Income Tax, a SHO,a collector Custon files a reply in court of law where they are party in official case,they have to get approval from PM?. This is just not the case. PM is on a war path against all institutions of the State just to remain in power and this is just not right or moral or correct.

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  • Jan 10, 2012 - 7:38AM

    “It may be recalled that Kayani is on an official visit to China – a trip during which he has met the Chinese premier. The meeting has raised a number of eyebrows.”

    What Country’s Army Chief meets heads of other states? I don’t remember the Indian Army chief ever meeting any premier of any other Country!!

    You cannot meet them unless you consider yourself the head of state!

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  • Salman
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:22AM

    Replies were illegal?

    No they were not … unless you have something to hide and it seems much clearer with each passing day that this government is NOT telling the truth!!! What information did he not want passed to the SC?

    The PM now wants dictatorial powers himself!

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  • Faisal
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:50AM

    Authority??Sound soo absurd

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  • Hafeez
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:05AM

    I hope Supreme court takes notice of this glaring unconstitutional step by the ISI and Army chiefs. And by the way why is our army chief meeting Chinese premiere. It is not his job, it’s our PM or President job to do so.

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  • Hamid
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:15AM

    Mr. PM why don’t you fire or resign if your subordinates have file their response without consulting you. This is not true Mr. PM. When two parties (boss & subordinate) is in dispute on a issue, even the subordinate is given the free chance to be heard and defend hi/her position. Please don’t play games and don’t involve innocent people of Pakistan to shed blood on the streets only for your & PPP’s rule. Act in the best interest of Pakistan & its people, this is what we voted for and expect from you.

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  • adeel759
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:22AM

    This is heading for a clash. On other hand he is right.

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  • Beatle
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:42AM

    @Hafiz Shah Ali:
    Read again. He did say permission from the PM, but the competent authrities. Which can be different in any individual case.

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  • Beatle
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:49AM

    Most of the comments make joke of the statement. On one side we talk about strengthing the democracy and at the same time mimic in sub-standard way on the statements or claims of any leader; ruling or opposition. Its a shame.

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  • Rahul
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:26AM

    YAY to the Pakistanis standing up for democracy and democratic processes, may the force be with you.

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  • Abhi
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:56AM

    In any sane country the act of Pasha going to US and meeting this business man will be considered as treason and Pasha would be sacked and prosecuted. Only in pakistan it is happening otherway.

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  • Paki-Australian
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:57AM

    I may not side with PPP, but I side with a constitutionally elected PM of a sovereign state. He represents the people and now genuinely stands to reign in the out of control Army & ISI.

    Remember people, politicians represent the people, not army generals. Why should we pay with our sweat & blood for army expenses when all the armed forces want is dominance and the resources to maintain a lifestyle.

    People of PK must side with democracy, not the estaishment.

    Lest we forget the fruits of Martial law eras of the past!

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  • zezu
    Jan 10, 2012 - 1:03PM

    @Hafeez
    Yes and Chinese will trust and have faith in our honest rulers!!

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  • R S JOHAR
    Jan 10, 2012 - 1:12PM

    Its appropriate time for the Pak PM to sack the erring military top brass and set a precedence for Pakistan future rulers as well as the military.

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  • Liberal
    Jan 10, 2012 - 1:50PM

    PM cant pack them, they are bigger than him, esp when court is also standing with them.

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  • IFTIKHAR-UR-REHMAN
    Jan 10, 2012 - 2:03PM

    SO now he wakes up!!!

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  • MarkH
    Jan 10, 2012 - 4:05PM

    Foregoing the backtracking shots… If you guys really want a democracy then you should be supporting the PM right now. The day they submit to the civilians is going to be brought on by confrontation such as this if they don’t want to of their own accord. Though the civilian government will fail miserably in the end if you don’t back them up. It may even be now or never with the stakes raising.
    If you don’t want the democracy, well, just keep doing what you’re doing. Your choice. It also means no Imran Khan.

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  • Jan 10, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Justice above all!
    PM saab they were asked by the courts! higher authority than you!

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  • Hairaan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:10PM

    Most irresponsible statement by any PM of any country against his own COAS.

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  • Truth
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:38PM

    So the PM is saying that army should only tell the truth with his permission. In that case, the constitution should be re-written to close loop holes in law so it cannot be manipulated.

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  • Babloo
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:44PM

    What PM is saying is that for submitting replies, any government official, should obtain consent of immediate supervising authority. A government clerk should obtain consent of the department head clerk, a soldier should obtain consent of his commanding officer when responding to matters concerning official business. In case of Kayani , the immediate supervising authority is Gilani, whose consent Mr Kayani should have obtained.

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  • betterwords
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:52PM

    First time some true words from our beloved PM. Our boy( Pasha & Kiani) should know that Pakistan needs true democracy which means , they are under “Defence ministry”. Its good for Pakistan and for themselves. However, for the uneducated and uncivilized poeple PM’s words will have no meaning. Its not their fault as most of us have not seen what democracy means. Recommend

  • Usman786
    Jan 10, 2012 - 7:15PM

    I may agree that their replies should be routed thru govt channels. But do u all agree that govt would send them to SC in court in time and without making any change. If the govt is so “innocent”, should they debate on legality of commission or on their defence on memogate. Enough is enough – corruption aur incompetency (N) se chutkara kab milay ga.

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  • Ilyad
    Jan 10, 2012 - 7:16PM

    No they did not do anything illegal. The SC named them in the order to file a reply so they have to comply or be held in contempt, the SC order did not go to the chief and the ISI via the PM’s office. However, the Chief and Pasha submitted their replies thorugh AG’s office – so what is illegal. AG is the govt. rep. or is he illegal?

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  • nnk
    Jan 10, 2012 - 7:17PM

    Besides the oft’ changing statements of the PM, he had no business to admonish his countries’ own military top brass in an interview with the Chinese Newspaper. Well, if he truly felt what he had said he should have taken action against them, instead. The SC judgment today on the NRO case is a clear “writing on the wall”. Civillian supremacy is important, but more important is that they (Government) must first put their act togeather. Until then, our Establishment has to and will continue to make sure that our National Interests are safeguarded, at all cost.

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  • DB
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:43PM

    @BruteForce:
    Are you forgetting how many times American generals have met Zardari and Gillani?

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 8:53PM

    @Hafeez:
    it is the creditability of the COAS who has repeatedly ensured the PM and President that army stand behind you,PM is just talking ,our President said once that he will visit CHINA after every three months where is that promise,People like Haqqani and co has hijacked in the name of America who is squeezing everything of this country.Sun rise from East but we are looking west for the last 63 years.Something is very seriously wrong with all of us.

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  • syed baqar ahsan
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:13PM

    @Babloo:
    PM has to proof is creditability by discarding Haqqani from his house who has created breach in our troika as desired by the USA.Please try to understand how our people are in talash of their rise at any cost.

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  • Jan 10, 2012 - 9:28PM

    @DB:

    How many times in the last 200 years has America been ruled by generals, can you tell? American Army Chiefs do not have dictatorial ambitions and are not all powerful like the Pakistani ones. They meet heads of states but only when their bosses in Washington allow them to. I dont believe Kayani has to ask Gilani before meeting Chinese Premier.

    Besides, I was talking about Indian Army Chiefs. Recommend

  • Zietgiest
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:46PM

    @bruteforce: don’t disagree with what you said but just being a devil’s advocate – how many times have the representatives and congressmen tried to sell their own country through loot khasoot and everything in between?

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:46PM

    @Sindhvoice:

    There is no conspiracy against the PPP. Apparently and for a change perhaps, PPP bulwarks are the alleged conspirators this time! Further, the memo matter pertains to alleged treachery and while Judiciary has a lead if Armed Forces are one of the ‘fareeqs’ to the issue why should the Govt become so touchy? What a good idea is it to impart a conspiracy tinge to anything and everything which holds PPP accountable!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 10:50PM

    @Babloo:
    What if the entity asking for its approval the accused itself? How bizarre would it be if an accused murderer asks a witness who incidentally is his subordinate to seek murderer’s approval before appearing in the court!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:00PM

    @BruteForce:
    For your raised query you first need to understand the politico-military hierarchical system and chain of command in PLA. Further, where does it happen that an elected PM criticizes one of his most important and respected institutions openly and without any remorse! If he is so helpless why did he not adopt this vociferous attitude earlier? Why did he wait for an allegation that too of treason on him or his Govt to become suddenly candid and venomous? PPP wants to embraced “shahadat” once more to clinch another term in future. They are trying hard to achieve the the Shaheed status either at the hands of Judiciary or unnecessary implicating Armed Forces this time-a political shahadat this time, for a chnage! This politics of “Shahadat” has been their acme since Bhutto. Sometimes it has been a real shahadat but mostly a staged- one. But this time, they have seem to cross all standards of decency and want this status badly even at the cost of our national pride and honour!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Paki-Australian:
    First come to Pakistan and then talk. Your talk is way off the mark!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:03PM

    @R S JOHAR:
    Look, who’s talking!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:06PM

    @MarkH:
    Thanks a lot for your advice! We were just missing it.

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:08PM

    @betterwords:
    I think you need to first understand the structure of Pakistan’s Higher Defence Organization and then comment!

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  • Tahir
    Jan 10, 2012 - 11:19PM

    @BruteForce:
    You talked of US Generals too. If the US Gens have nt bn so strong to say, their politicians hv nt been as corrupt and inapt as ours! Further, US President or Executive can never dare to belittle the Judiciary! Do not try to equate two unequal entities.

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  • Hamid
    Jan 11, 2012 - 12:34AM

    Gillani sahab, isn’t contempt of court illegal too?

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  • Jan 11, 2012 - 3:55AM

    The politicians should follow the Constitution and officials should follow the Rules of Business.

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  • Mr. Honest
    Jan 11, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Why cannot this man the PM take a solid stand against corruption and misgovernance also???

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