Another controversy brews over Gilani’s alleged phone call

Published: January 13, 2012
PM Yousaf Raza Gilani. PHOTO:FILE

PM Yousaf Raza Gilani. PHOTO:FILE

ISLAMABAD: Another Memo-like fiasco reared its head on Friday as media reports alleged that, sometime this week, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had telephoned British High Commissioner Adam Thomson expressing fears that the army might stage a coup.

The PM House, however, issued a prompt rebuttal, followed by a contradiction by Thomson himself.

Denial or not, the reports have already sent the rumour mills churning and could potentially worsen already adverse relations between the military and the government.

The premier has been talking to various political leaders and diplomats about potential threats to his administration, a close associate of the prime minister told The Express Tribune. “He did discuss issues pertaining to the ongoing rivalry between the civilian and military leadership with close associates and political allies on a number of occasions over the last couple of weeks,” the PM’s aide said, adding however, that he wasn’t certain if Prime Minister Gilani had spoken to the British High Commissioner regarding the issue.

Within minutes of the media quoting an Associated Press report, the PM House issued a flat out denial: “PM Gilani has not spoken to Thomson in this regard. The AP story is completely unfounded,” adding, “The democratic government, led by PM Gilani, draws its strength from the people of Pakistan – not from foreign powers.”

A prompt rebuttal also came from Thomson’s office, with his spokesperson issuing a statement saying, “The story regarding a recent telephone call between Thomson and PM Gilani is untrue. There has been no such call.”

British Foreign Minister William Hague refrained from commenting on the news report, but he did advise the country’s civilian and military leadership to avoid a clash.

Over the last few weeks, Prime Minister Gilani began lobbying against the armed forces and was reportedly discussing some “sensitive information” with diplomats and politicians in Islamabad and Multan, sources alleged, adding that the premier had also engaged a legal team to keep a close eye on the latest developments from the Supreme Court and the GHQ.

The PM was eager to get his hands on some inside information on the corps commanders’ and principal staff officers’ recent conference held at the GHQ, chaired by Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, and then later discussed the details with President Asif Ali Zardari, his legal team and political allies, a source claimed.

“He still fears major changes before the Senate elections on March 2,” the source added.

Associated Press, a US state owned news agency, published a news item regarding a telephonic conversation between Premier Yusuf Raza Gillani and British High Commissioner Adam Thomson to convey his message to the British govt to support his embattled administration in-case of a possible military coup.


(Read: Situationer: Coups are not easy anymore)

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (70)

  • dv sikka
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Gilani knows that they have no legs to stand on. They want crutches from the British/USA to support them.


  • Kashif Iqbal
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:50PM

    Symbol of weak prime minister.


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:51PM

    Will there be a coup or not? To coup or not to coup? To be or not to be? That is the suspense-laced conundrum.


  • Khan Saab
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:51PM

    Who is planting these news in foreign media through ‘undisclosed sources’?


  • Acorn Guts
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:53PM

    This gives the memogate scandal a whole new dimension now. Looks like we’ve got serial beseechers on our hands.


  • Vaqas Uddin
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:53PM

    I am with Army and ISI definitely they have a right to save our country to take over Government. Because people don’t want democracy they want cheap electricity, food and employment.


  • Khawlah
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:55PM

    The Army is already in command of Foreign and Critical domestic policies. To coup or not to coup is not the question, the question is to come in the front or stay behind the scene. For them staying behind is the best option as both PML(N) and PTI are helping them in a ‘soft’ coup.


  • Iron hand
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:55PM

    Guess you can’t trust British diplomats to exercise sensible discretion in what they share with the media.


  • Rose
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:57PM

    The PM calling a High Commissioner! don’t they follow any protocols??


  • Ahsan Raza
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:59PM

    And these are the People that Represent the Brave and resilient People of Pakistan ? Jeaaay Jamhoriyaat … Recommend

  • Pleasego
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Yes he definately did this and he will now definately deny it. However
    nobody is gona believe him. I think by going to the Brits it shows
    that the USA nolonger is supporting this corrupt regime and now with this being made public
    the Brits dont want to know either. Totally isolated, this gorment will fall very, very soon. Recommend

  • Nadir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:07PM

    Hold on a second, why would a British diplomat release such comments to begin with??


  • zezu
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:13PM

    ALERT!! it has been observed that there is a huge drop in audience watching evening SOAPs. This Paki series is in its climax; just few episodes left, or maybe.


  • Vaqar - UK
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:15PM

    Another memogate????


  • Mohammad Ali Siddiqui
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Gilani is wrong.

    Thyere will be no military take over in Pakistan.

    There is no need to become paniky.

    It’s a childish attitude.


  • Hafiz Shah Ali
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:19PM

    The PM if the story is right is a disgrace to the Nation


  • Tariq
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:32PM

    @Vaqas Uddin:

    Agreed 100%


  • Sajjad Ashraf
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:41PM

    Paper tigers who have tarnished the great name of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and the PPP. They do not deserve to represent the ideals attached to this party.


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 6:55PM

    very childish behaviour for a leader of a democratic nation


  • Lobster
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:07PM

    @Vaqas Uddin:
    They already saved us 3 times, each for 10 years approx. Unfortunately, the end state was worse than when they took over. Historically, they have also failed in doing their core duty of protecting its citizens, why you want to burden them more.


  • Ayesha
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:25PM

    Wow, this government is really asking for it, isn’t it? I have grown tired of this craving for martyrdom. I think they have overplayed it so much now, no one will give a toss if the army actually moves in.


  • zain
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:28PM

    the resistance against army shown by this govt. is appreciable.

    everyone has the right to save his govt.


  • Amjad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:30PM

    @Vaqas Uddin: Let the army remain out of politics and be professional soldiers. We saw how the military as an institution deteriorated under Musharraf and how the country slipped to greater instability.When the time comes, we can all vote out the PPP but for the sake of the nation, we have to all grow up and do things according to the constitution and democratic principles. The army is not above the law and it is their job to respect the constitution if Pakistan is to develop in the long term.


  • gabriel khan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:31PM

    who in pakistan has been doing his core duty, weigh every one with the same gauge. Atleast army is there when all else fails.


  • Asad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:44PM

    What is source and who is planting these news? People of Pakistan can longer be fooled !


  • Adnan
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:57PM

    The Supreme court should take action against this incompetent and corrupt regime and the Army should back up the ruling. Then fresh elections should be called under an interim government. Everyone should vote for Tehrik-e-insaaf so that Imran Khan can take over reigns of the Government. This will then start us off towards a new era of progress and prosperity. End of story.


  • Pro Bono Publico
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:59PM

    @Sajjad Ashraf:
    “Tarnished” whose name? Oh, the co-founder of Bangladesh, ZA BhuttoRecommend

  • Deepwater
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:20PM

    Perhaps the Brits should take over the country again.


  • anonymus
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:27PM

    @Vaqas Uddin:
    as per your desire there should be no constitution
    COAS should be chief exceutive by default. all commander should be governors, all civil beaurocracy should be replaced by army officer.

    no elections, no democracy this is all unislamic.
    courts should be banned . there should be speedy military courts.

    KP, Balochistan and Sindh should be declared colonies and their land and resources should be occupied.


  • anonymus
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:34PM

    @Pro Bono Publico:
    at the behest of peole he represented.
    when you stand on prayer rug today then think that will you be willing to give rest of the three provinces same rights as per 6 point agenda of Awami lwague or if any province will ask same thing then you will will kill them, rape them and mutilate them

    Bhutto was reperesentative of you, did not agree for separate currency with awami league. are you willing to give separate currency to other provinces today…


  • Muhammad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:52PM

    when will the Pakistani govt grow up and think or start to deal with their problems by themselves. there are times when grown ups should not call or ask for help from daddies.


  • sick of this nonsense
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:03PM

    I cant believe it. You sir are a rarity who speaks sense out of all the mindless people here supporting a coupe.


  • Liberalache
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:05PM

    “A general fear of a coup” no pun intended of course….just being a cheeky brit. If you were enjoying the comfort of a developed country and watching the bunch known as the Government of Pakistan, you’d probably make fun in their time of inevitable crisis also. They probably cleaned up “Paki call” to “Panicky call”…honestly..without the nukes nobody would take us seriously. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:17PM

    Classic Pakistan – you never see the elephant in the room. Your elected govt is under threat of a military coup and seeks help — and rather than get mad at the military you get mad at your elected govt. No wonder the World looks at you and scratches it’s head.


  • Pleasego
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:00PM

    “you never see the elephant in the room. Your elected govt is under threat of a military coup and seeks help — and rather than get mad at the military you get mad at your elected govt”

    Err.. if you have been following this drama you should be aware that the masses do not have any Gas or Electricity, Inflation is sky high, Terrorism is rife, no Railway, PIA almost bankrupt, Steel Mills the same, No jobs, No income support, Economy is on the verge of total meltdown, No investment, Growth is non existent, GDP has fallen, Interest rates are higher, Criminality is rife, Murder is rife, Corruption from the top down is rampant, Foreign reserves almost finished, Drone attacks everyday,
    Just a few reasons why Pakistanis get “MAD” at the Government and want them out. Now!Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:02PM

    @Cautious: i agree to what you said but its not just the military to get mad at. its the govt too. you know when the govt does something for the common (poor) people, the common people return the favor by supporting the government. as this government has done nothing apart from shattering Pakistan economically by corruption and messed up policies, they have no support by the these 4 years, all they have done is nothing for the poor people but have given ministries to influential people, filled their pockets, and opened up new doors of corruption to their own people.

    Yes the military is not good too but the government is the worst. For a second let me assume that military and agencies are the worst; is the government doing a good job? is it doing anything apart from saving democracy (saving their ministries and government) ? is the government respecting the supreme court? The government has made a mess of every political party, every agency and force and even the law. All they say is that the military does not want democracy but deep inside they are inviting them and wanting the establishment to remove them so they can get sympathy votes again. Ofcourse they do not have a good reason to come into power again, so they are trying the same copy book approach of Pakistani history. Force military coup and declare oneself political martyr. After all being a martyr is so cheap and easy =)



  • rk from NY
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:03PM

    @Mohammed Abbasi:
    which is democratic nation…??? pakistan…??? hahahahaha….wake up ..


  • Arijit Sharma
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:03PM

    Extremely shameful. And Pakistanis always try to remind us that “we Muslims” ruled “you” for 1000 years.


  • rk from NY
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:04PM

    is this even a country…??????


  • Jadugar
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:08PM

    There are not many choices to protect democracy in Pakistan from the well armed institution, who have time and again disrupted democracy, Politicians and the people are not capable yet to defend the country’s political system. I for one would have done the same. people who do not learn from their past mistakes are deem to repeat it.


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 11:18PM

    Almost all Pakistan’s leaders,past & present except Founding Fathers have made mistakes, some personally involved in corruption, some have done it through others & some facilitated it. Seed of corruption in every dept. have been sown for sometime. I highly suggest that both President and the PM publicly admit mistakes and start the positive trend for other leaders to follow. PPP will be winner


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 11:20PM

    Lets not pick on PPP or Zardari or Gilani. President & PM are panicking & making mistakes of going to foreign countries to assist in completing the elected term. Democracy has just started taking root. Lets not reverse this very important foundation missing for 60 years in Pakistan. I highly suggest that both President and the PM publicly admit mistakes and start the positive trend for other leaders to follow. PPP will be winner


  • Cautious
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:25PM

    @ Pleasego, Muhammad. You may have a lousy govt – but that isn’t unique in Pakistan and in a Democracy sometimes your forced to hold your nose for a yr or two until the next election. Your military has no solutions to the economic woes facing Pakistan and I would argue that some of those economic woes are the direct result of the foreign policy controlled by your military.


  • RajX
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:40PM

    People of Pakistan(or atleast the Pakistani readers of the tribune), only in a jungle does the strongest animal dominate. Since we are human, in civilized societies , the mightiest man with the gun should not be allowed to dominate. You as a people have elected a political party to run the country. If you are not happy with them, kick them out in the next election. This attitude of bending to the strongest man with the gun is unhealthy and undemocratic and actually displays a sense of moral weakness. As a group, weak people support the guys with guns over the guys who want the peoples support through discourse. Think about it. Pakistan is going around in circles with this khaki, civilian,khaki, civilian drama.


  • USMANx
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:04AM

    @raj, cautious etal,

    Thanks for the lectures on how democracy works. Should we stratify our society along the lines of castes like your perfect democracy ?


  • Amm Squire
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:20AM

    I am sure Army will be laughing over this news.


  • adeel759
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:00AM

    I think Politicians should leave politics and start selling Student Biryani, and handover the Govt-Running to Military, since this is all what this Pak Fauj has learned through last sixty odd years


  • Muslim
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:24AM

    Gilani & Zardari are stooges of the Americans & the British….wish so much that they rot in jail for the rest of their lives!!!


  • amjad
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:29AM

    And this guy has been given the responsibility to run the country,!!!Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jan 14, 2012 - 4:59AM

    The SC should promptly form a commission to investigate whether this happened or not, and fire the PM if it is proven. Just in case it fails in its charade of a memogate probe. One must always have option b, eh CJ?


  • Canadian Hindu
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:06AM

    Get out the popcorn and turn off the phone ringers the drama that is Pakistan is reaching its climax.


  • Humayun Bhatty
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:19AM

    Is this not proof enough that the memo-gate incident is a true reflection of what the present political setup is upto. Traitors.


  • A. Khan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 6:44AM

    , “The democratic government, led by PM Gilani, draws its strength from the people of Pakistan – not from foreign powers.”

    Don’t make me laugh ! Please, I beg you !


  • prashanth
    Jan 14, 2012 - 7:08AM

    @Pleasego said: Err.. if you have been following this drama you should be aware that the masses do not have any Gas or Electricity, Inflation is sky high, Terrorism is rife, no Railway, PIA almost bankrupt, Steel Mills the same, No jobs, No income support, Economy is on the verge of total meltdown, No investment, Growth is non existent, GDP has fallen, Interest rates are higher, Criminality is rife, Murder is rife, Corruption from the top down is rampant, Foreign reserves almost finished, Drone attacks everyday,
    Just a few reasons why Pakistanis get “MAD” at the Government and want them out. Now!

    There is a saying in Kannada: If you want to land up in haven, you got to die yourself.
    You got to pay the price for saving democracy to savor its fruits. Only dictatorship comes cheap.


  • Jan 14, 2012 - 7:46AM

    @Khan Saab: Nobody but your own government. Salams


  • American Desi
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:11AM

    Are you implying there is no Cast system in Pakistan?! It may not be sanctioned by Islam but cast system is very much alive! Recommend

  • MarkH
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:44AM

    You say you want a strong PM, but demand weak actions from him. If he were to carry out the weak actions, you’d demand strength.

    Pick something. How is anyone supposed to do the wishes of the people when 99% of the time they’re contradictory and nonsensical?


  • OMG . .
    Jan 14, 2012 - 9:10AM

    The military has every right and duty to respond to treason and hold the culprits accountable!! So far no civilian government in Pakistan can call itself supreme to the military. In the end the Pak Military is ethical, credible and supreme.. . . .and it always ends up cleaning the mess . . . .


  • Ahmer Ali
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:00AM

    Allah says in the doubtless Holy Quran that when any one tells you any news/information first investigate either that news/information is right or wrong then accept or reject so that you couldn’t harm the others intentionally or unintentionally.Therefore first investigate from concerned cources that either Gillani called or not then accept or reject.


  • Anonymous
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:04AM

    Has Army and ISI ruined Railways, PIA, and Pakistan Steels? pls Stop blaming the Army for every Fiasco createdRecommend

  • Osama
    Jan 14, 2012 - 10:33AM

    Democratic is not suitable phenomena in Pakistan. Every democratic govt. in Pakistan always damage National Identity. People want Rooti, Kapra and cheat energy resources. they are not interested in that Gov.t pass bla bla bla constitution. all developments form govt. is for there own people. but common people like you can me never get beneficial.


  • Circus circus
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:27AM

    Thankfully Pakistans conspiracy rumour mills cant blame US/Israel/India or CIA/MOSSAD/RAW/ MI6 for conspiring to destabelize Pakistan. Perhaps Pakistanis now realise that India/US/Isreal are not pakistan’s enemies. The enemy lies within. Institutions fighting each other and a country struggling to make ends meet is its biggest enemy. For poor people, inflation and shortages are the real enemy.noyt having education/healthcare/housing is the real enemy. Once pakistan starts realising this, it will start getting its act together.
    2011 was a horrible year for the world. 2012 will be worse. Buck up people, and do something. Anything.


  • Parvez
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:50PM

    The word democracy is like the word secular, they have both lost their meaning in the quicksand of Pakistani politics.


  • adeel759
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:57PM

    Being leader of the parliament, its his duty to save this system and country. And to save this country he is right to ask anybody for help. Recommend

  • observer
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:11PM

    If a Five Day Tour of China by one party is OK, why the hullabaloo over a Five Minute conversation?


  • Anti Truth
    Jan 14, 2012 - 1:28PM

    Good PM…


  • parvez
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:33PM

    Things will not settle down till we hand ove PM chair to CJ of SC, because that is aactually what he is after.


  • mavoorian
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:05PM

    If u can take money from US & aid and always crying for more. What is wrong in asking for help.Most of your politician’s are living there once you kicked them out of your contry..Thay are your masters


  • khan
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:13PM

    @do you all believe that some of our educated people will still vote or support this party in the future….how sense -less are we as a nation…


  • Ali Tanoli
    Jan 14, 2012 - 5:45PM

    What else u expect from them..


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