Zardari fears military coup in Pakistan asks world for help

Islamabad : Government efforts to strengthen democracy need to be complemented by the international community, said President Asif Ali Zardari who has been cited in a secret memo as fearing a military coup.

Zardari Friday said efforts of the government to strengthen democracy needed to be complemented by the international community so that the democratic procedures in the country were further strengthened, reported Associated Press of Pakistan.

He was interacting with a delegation of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) headed by president Kenneth Wollack.

Pakistani businessman Mansoor Ijaz alleged in a column in the Financial Times last month that a senior Pakistani diplomat asked for help in getting a message from Zardari to then chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.

Ijaz alleged that Zardari feared a military takeover following the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May.

Wollack briefed Zardari about various NDI activities for strengthening democracy in various countries of the world, particularly in Pakistan.

Zardari said democracy was the only option for people in Pakistan as a bulwark against many ills, including extremism, poverty, deprivation and a militant mindset.

He said only democracy serves the purpose of real empowerment of the downtrodden and poor people.

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