No assurances against military coup in Pak: US

Washington: Amid growing tension between the civilian and military leadership in Pakistan, US has said it had not sought or received any assurances from the Pakistani army that it would not stage a coup.

"I`m not aware that we`ve sought any assurances, and I don`t think we`re aware that we`ve been given any. This is a matter for Pakistani officials and the government leaders there, military and civilian, to work out," said Navy Capt John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.

Meanwhile, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen Martin E Dempsey, has spoken to Pakistani Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

"My understanding is that Chairman Dempsey has been in contact with Gen Kayani. It was a productive and professional conversation. I`m not going to get into the details. But that call has taken place," Little told reporters.

The timing of the call was not divulged, except that it has taken place within recent days.

On Wednesday, Pakistan plunged into fresh turmoil with the powerful army warning Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani of "grievous consequences" for his recent criticism of the military and ISI, and the Premier taking them head on by sacking the defence secretary over the memo scandal.