NEW YORK  - Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has dismissed the possibility of a coup, saying relations between the civilian government and military are ‘cordial and fine.’

“I don’t see any possibility of military intervention or any coup,” Asif said in an interview with Bloomberg News, a New York-based business news service. “We have complete consensus, complete agreement on foreign policy.”

Asif spoke as Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf leader Imran Khan prepares to lead 1 million people in a march through Islamabad on August 14 to push for fresh elections. The prospect of unrest triggered the biggest fall in Pakistan’s benchmark stock index since 2009 as Prime Minister Sharif warned that demonstrations would threaten economic gains. A Taliban insurgency, power blackouts and political instability have damped economic growth over the past decade, prompting Sharif to seek an International Monetary Fund loan last year.

“We still have four years to go,” Asif was quoted as saying. “We have an agenda to complete.”

The KSE 100 Index (KSE100), up 12 percent this year, rose 0.8 percent Tuesday after its biggest retreat in five years a day earlier. Oil & Gas Development Co., the nation’s biggest company by value, rose the most in three weeks after its steepest drop in three years yesterday.

“Imran Khan is getting desperate,” Shaikh Mutahir Ahmed, chairman of the international relations department at the University of Karachi, told Bloomberg News by phone Tuesday. “He wants to create a fuss and get a chance to rule, but this won’t be possible.”

Sharif, 64, has sought to revive Pakistan’s finances through a privatization drive and cutting power subsidies. The election that brought him back to office in May 2013 marked the first-ever democratic transfer of power in a country where the army has ruled for more than half of its history.

Tahirul Qadri, who has no representation in parliament, plans to join Khan’s protest.

“All parties have taken extreme positions and they don’t seem ready to step down from those positions,” Mahmud Durrani, a former national security adviser, was quoted as saying. “If even one-third of the anticipated crowd enters Islamabad, it will be overloaded and that will cause friction and some trouble.”