Pakistani official: Defense secretary dismissed

CHRIS BRUMMITT

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A Pakistani official says the prime minister has dismissed the defense secretary amid spiking tensions between the army and the government.

The order Wednesday added to a sense of near open conflict in the country between the civilian government and the army, which has ruled the country for much of its existence.

The official said retired Lt. Gen. Naeem Khalid Lodhi had been fired because of "misconduct" relating to his role in submitting statements by the army and spy chief to the Supreme Court about a scandal involving a memo sent to Washington that is rocking the country.

The official didn't give his name because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Lodhi is an army appointee in the government, and is regarded as having more power than the defense minister.