Pakistan’s Besieged Government
Pakistan’s civilian governments are typically short-lived and cast aside by military coups. This disastrous pattern could be repeating itself as the current civilian government comes under increasing pressure from the army and the Supreme Court.
On Wednesday, the standoff hardened when Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani fired his defense secretary,Naeem Khalid Lodhi — a retired general and confidante of the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani — and replaced him with a civilian, Nargis Sethi. Infuriated military officials said they might refuse to work with the new secretary and warned vaguely of “serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences” afterMr. Gilani publicly criticized them in an interview.