ISLAMABAD -- 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.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan's military is warning of 'grievous consequences' after the prime minister was reported to have accused the army chief and the head of the spy agency of violating the constitution.
The military statement Wednesday is the latest sign of a destabilizing clash between the army and the government of President Asif Ali Zardari, which many commentators believe could end in the dismissal of the current administration.
Prime Minister Yousuf Reza Gilani was quoted as telling a Chinese newspaper that army chief Gen. Pervez Ashfaq Kayani had violated the constitution by submitting statements to the Supreme Court about a scandal involving a memo sent to Washington that is rocking the country.
The army statement said this had "very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country."
It did not elaborate.