The Obama administration says it hopes Pakistan will resolve a deepening political crisis in a way that strengthens the civilian government.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is acknowledging "a lot of concerns" about instability in Pakistan.
She said the U.S. stands "strongly in favor of a democratically elected civilian government." But she said Pakistanis themselves must resolve their issues in a legal and transparent way.
Pakistan's president left Thursday on a one-day trip abroad, amid widening speculation over the army's intentions. Pakistan's prime minister fired the defense secretary Wednesday.
Clinton said she conveyed U.S. positions on Wednesday, when she welcomed Pakistan's new ambassador.