Islamabad: Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani held a two-hour meeting with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf against the backdrop of consultations within the ruling coalition on dissolving parliament ahead of the next general election expected to be held in May.
Kayani and Ashraf met at the Prime Minister's House on January 31 afternoon "without prior schedule", The News daily quoted its sources as saying. Describing the meeting as important, the report said the two leaders discussed the security situation and "other subjects of national interest". The one-on-one meeting was arranged "on an emergency basis", the report said.
The meeting was prolonged and Ashraf was delayed for about an hour in reaching parliament for a group photograph with members of the outgoing National Assembly. There was no word on the meeting from the premier's office or the military's media arm.
The News reported that Kayani came to the premier's official residence in a helicopter. During the meeting, the army chief briefed Ashraf about the recent visit of a delegation led by the Afghan Defence Minister. Kayani will travel to London on February 1 to participate in a trilateral summit of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Britain hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron.
He also discussed this meeting with Ashraf, the report said. The Pakistan People's Party-led coalition has begun consultations on forging consensus on dates for dissolving the national and provincial assemblies and for hold the next general elections. Several federal ministers have said the polls are expected to be held by mid-May.