(WASHINGTON) — Pakistan’s military has rescinded an invitation to CENTCOM Chief Gen. James Mattis to unveil in person the results of the investigation into the death of 24 Pakistani soldiers, according to a senior Pakistani military official and a senior U.S. official.
Instead, Pakistan’s army is asking for the report in written form and will respond to it then. Mattis had been scheduled to brief the Pakistanis on Christmas Eve.
This comes right in the middle of the largest political crisis in Pakistan since Asif Zardari became president in September of 2008.
The weak civilian government and the powerful army appear to be on a collision course and the fate of the Zardari government is at stake.
In an unprecedented statement, the prime minister said he will no longer tolerate the army and the ISI being a “state within a state” and subjecting the civilians to “slavery.”
In response, Army Chief Kayani issued a statement “dispel[ling] the speculations of any military takeover and said that these are misleading and are being used as a bogey to divert the focus from the real issues.”
The real issue, from the army’s perspective is the utter incompetence of the civilian government.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Rafael Romo and Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN
Euan McKirdy, Bryony Jones and Barry Neild, CNN
Georgia McCafferty and Junko Ogura, CNN