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SC, army cannot derail system: PM Gilani

17 January, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that the Supreme Court and the army have to protect democracy, adding that they cannot derail or pack up the system.

He was speaking in the National Assembly after the passage of a resolution in support of democracy on Monday.

"If there is no democracy then everybody will go together. Nobody will go in separate boxes," he said, adding, "We do not want a certificate of patriotism from others."

Gilani said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto had laid down their lives for democracy and it "goes to the credit of this parliament that it restored the Constitution of 1973".

He said the Supreme Court had called him, and he would appear before it on January 19 to show his utmost respect for the institution. Concerning the pro-democracy resolution, he said the day was a defining moment in the history of Pakistan and the best day for democracy.

The resolution was not against judiciary or any other institution, he added. "We did not come to the assembly under threat and we are not against any institution. We did not come here to protect ourselves," he stressed.

He congratulated the members of the National Assembly for passing the historic resolution with absolute majority, saying the resolution would strengthen democracy and democratic institutions, and would show the sovereignty of parliament.

He thanked all the coalition partners, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and independents for backing the resolution and the mover of the resolution, Awami National Party President Asfandyar Wali Khan.

He recalled that the members of parliament had rendered sacrifices and suffered for democracy and endured exiles and jails.

He said the creator of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) was roaming freely, which was discriminatory.

Now the creator of the NRO claims that the people wanted him to come back to Pakistan, he added.

"We did not make the NRO. Those who made the NRO are out and all others are inside and facing punishment," Gilani said.

Gilani said he had announced to release the judges even before taking oath as a prime minister.

"It was like showing red rag to the bull as General Musharraf would not have liked it. What more I could have done to show my sincerity," he said, adding that his party had suffered for the cause of judiciary.

He said he was beaten with batons, tear-gassed, sent to jail and forced to face anti-terrorism cases for the restoration of judges.

The PM said the PML-N did not have the intention to support the pro-democracy resolution from the very start. The resolution was not presented earlier because the opposition was demanding that it should be presented on January 16, he said.

Responding to Chaudhry Nisar Ali's remarks about the support of coalition partners to the government, he said the allies were democratic, disciplined and committed people.

Gilani said that under the current circumstances - when all institutions were passing through an evolution and were growing and where the average life of the assemblies remained one or two years - those who were committed and loyal to the parties should be protected.

End.

Reader Comments:

SYSTEM OF LOOTING

@Mr Gilani! There is no system except that of LOOTING AND PLUNDER in your raj, and that is what PLUNDER PAKISTAN PARTY (PPP) stands for.

Incidentally, did I miss something? Lately you have started sounding cocky, which is not quite in character. Have your partners in Memogate and Operation Blue Tulsi now decided to trust you enough to be capable to deliver, and are willing to risk all on your side?

Regrettably, I can't wish you success, quite the reverse: La'natullahe ala-al-kazibin!

Aik Ansari, United Kingdom - 17 January, 2012

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