Islamabad: Pakistan Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has reiterated that he would like to see the continuity of the democratic system in the country, amid a stand-off between the civil leadership and the judiciary over re-opening of corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
General Kayani Monday reiterated a belief in stability and continuity of democratic system in Pakistan during a ceremony held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, reported Geo News.
He said: “Security of the country and defence of its sovereignty should be our top most priority”. He added that the constitution clearly determined the responsibilities of the national institutions.
The army chief sought that the nation’s affairs be carried out in accordance with the constitution, and stressed that this is the only way to further strengthen the country’s security.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was convicted April 26 by teh Supreme Court for contempt of court. He had refused to act on the court’s directives to write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against Zardari, arguing that the president enjoys immunity under the Pakistani constitution.
Accused of graft, Zardari had been granted amnesty under the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) in 2007 by then president Pervez Musharraf to facilitate his return home and, primarily that of his wife, former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. The NRO was later struck down by the apex court as unconstitutional.
The general said: “The armed forces, with its strength and support of the people, are fully capable of protecting the country’s sovereignty.”