ISLAMABAD, Jan 11 � Pakistan�s powerful army today warned Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of �grievous consequences� for his criticism against the military and ISI as he sacked the Defence Secretary in an open confrontation bringing the country on the brink of a political crisis.
On a day of fast-paced developments, the Army issued a terse statement against the Prime Minister, saying his allegation has �very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country�.
As speculation mounted that the fresh crisis may see the ouster of the nearly four-year-old Gilani government, the Prime Minister dimissed Defence Secretary Lt Gen (retd) Naeem Khalid Lodhi, considered close to Army Chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.
The Government also brought in Brigadier Sarfaraz Ali as the new commander of Rawalpindi-based army unit that has traditionally played a vital role in military coups.
The unusually-strong Army rebuff came two days after Gilani told a state-run Chinese portal that Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha had acted in an �unconstitutional and illegal� manner by filing affidavits on the memo issue in the Supreme Court without obtaining the Government�s prior permission.