Pakistan's military says the country's army chief has summoned his commanders amid spiking tensions between the armed forces and the civilian government.

Military spokesman Maj. Muhammad Ali Diyal declined to say what the talks Thursday at army headquarters were about.

On Wednesday, the prime minister fired the defense secretary and the powerful military warned of "grievous consequences", widening a destabilizing rift between the country's institutions.

Relations between President Asif Ali Zardari and the generals have never been good, but have soured dramatically in recent months.

Pakistan's army has ruled Pakistan for much of its six-decade existence, and no civilian government has ever completed its term in office.

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