Pakistani defence secretary's dismissal challenged in court

A Pakistani advocate Thursday filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against the dismissal of the defence secretary by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Gilani Wednesday fired Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a retired army lieutenant general widely seen as close to army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, and asked Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi to take charge of the defence secretary's post.

Advocate Azhar Saeed said in the petition that sacking of the defence secretary was based on mala fide intent of the government, and was sheer interference in the memogate case, the Online news agency reported.

He said issuing of a show-cause notice to any government employee was mandatory before sacking him from service. The government did not fulfil the legal formalities pertaining to dismissal orders, he said.

He prayed to the court to set aside the dismissal order of Lodhi and restrain Nargis Sethi from discharging the duties of defence secretary.

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