Islamabad: The Pakistan government on Friday denied a media report that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had called the British envoy and sought his support to prevent a feared military takeover.

The spokesman for the Prime Minister's House "strongly denied" the news report that Gilani spoke to the British High Commissioner last week "seeking British help to pre-empt a coup".

"The Prime Minister has not spoken to the British High Commissioner in this regard and the Associated Press story is totally unfounded," the spokesman said in a brief statement.

The "democratic government led by Prime Minister draws its strength from the people of Pakistan and not from any foreign power", the spokesman said.

The media report had quoted an unnamed British official and a Pakistani official as saying that the Prime Minister had made a "panicky" call to British envoy Adam Thompson and expressed fears that the Pakistan Army might be about to stage a coup.

The call suggested there was a "genuine fear at the highest level of the Pakistani government" that the army might carry out a coup or support possible moves by the Supreme Court to topple the civilian leadership, the report said.

The report came against the backdrop of escalating tensions between the weak civilian government on the one side and the army and judiciary on the other.

The army is engaged in a standoff with the government over an alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a possible coup after the killing of Osama bin Laden last year.

The Supreme Court is pressuring the government to reopen high-profile graft cases and has warned that action could be taken against the President and Prime Minister if they failed to act on its orders.