Pakistan Army on Wednesday strongly reacted to an interview to The People’s Daily Online of China by Honourable Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to a Chinese newspaper where in he had said affidavits submitted to the Supreme Court by the Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt Gen Ahmad Shuja Pasha on `memogate` were `unconstitutional and illegal. `
Inter Service Public Relation issued a statement saying that the APP (Associated Press of Pakistan) has issued a statement on 9th of January 2012 giving details of the interview given by the Honourable Prime Minister of Pakistan to The People’s Daily Online of China when the COAS was also on an official visit to China. The Prime Minister inter alia termed the responses given by COAS and DG ISI in the alleged Memo Case to the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan as unconstitutional and illegal. This part of the statement has been quoted and widely debated in the media.”
“There can be no allegation more serious than what the Honourable Prime Minister has leveled against COAS and DG ISI and has unfortunately charged the officers for violation of the Constitution of the Country. This has very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the Country.”
It said that the statement does not take into account following important facts:-
“ – COAS and DG ISI were cited as Respondents in the Petitions as such and after hearing the parties the Honourable Supreme Court served notices directly to the Respondents. This was not objected to by the learned Attorney General of Pakistan.
– The responses by the respondents were sent to the Ministry of Defence for onward submission to the Honourable Supreme Court, through Attorney General (Law Ministry).
– A letter was also dispatched to the Attorney General of Pakistan and the Honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan informing that the replies have been submitted to the Ministry of Defence.
– It is emphasized that copies of the statements of the two Respondents were not forwarded directly to the Supreme Court.
– Responsibility for moving summaries and obtaining approvals of Competent Authority thereafter lay with the relevant ministries and not with the Respondents.
It is also highlighted that after a meeting between the Prime Minister and the COAS, the Prime Minister had publicly stated through a press release of 16th December 2011 that the replies submitted were “in response to the notice of the Court through proper channel and in accordance with the rules of business.” No objections were raised before and thereafter, on the legality and constitutional status of the replies, at any time, during the last more than three weeks of hearing of the case by the Honourable Supreme Court.
It is also categorically stated that COAS and DG ISI in their response to the Honourable Supreme Court were obliged to state facts as known to them, on the Memo Issue. The issue of jurisdiction and maintainability of the Petitions was between the Honourable Supreme Court and the Federation.
Any expectation that COAS will not state the facts is neither constitutional nor legal. Allegiance to State and the Constitution is and will always remain prime consideration for the Respondent, who in this case has followed the book.”