Sunday, June 23, 2024

Gilani rules out possibility of change in govt


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Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday ruled out any possibility of a change in government through “unconstitutional and undemocratic means” as a political storm raged in Pakistan over a secret memorandum in which the country’s civilian leadership purportedly sought US assistance to stave off a military takeover.

Facing a virtual barrage in the National Assembly on the issue, Gilani told the lawmakers that rumours about the break-up of Pakistan and the dissolution of national intuitions were baseless.

He told the members to refrain from blame game on the controversy, saying, “We have already taken action. What do you suggest that we should do now? Counter-reactions, actions and blame game will not work. We have to go forward and together we will resolve these issues.”

The Prime Minister ruled out the possibility of any change in government through “unconstitutional and undemocratic means”, and said the opposition would have to await its turn till the general election scheduled for 2013.

While denying President Asif Ali Zardari’s involvement in the matter, Gilani also said his government is committed to protecting military institutions like the Inter-Services Intelligence agency.

“The ISI is our institution and we, according to the Constitution of Pakistan, are protecting our institutions,” Gilani said. He said Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani had been called to Islamabad to provide an explanation on the memorandum.

“I have already given an assurance to the House that I have called him for an explanation and he’ll give the explanation to the leadership of this country,” Gilani said. He said the opposition could raise any issues that remained after Haqqani gave his explanation but asserted that “this issue will be resolved”.

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz’s claim that an intermediary delivered the memorandum to former US military chief Admiral Mike Mullen in May has stirred up a storm in Pakistan’s political and diplomatic circles.

Ijaz has contended that President Zardari had offered to revamp Pakistan’s national security set-up in exchange for American assistance in preventing a takeover by the Pakistan Army, which had been stung by the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

Prime Minister Gilani noted that opposition parties that had criticised the military after the US raid against bin Laden were now singing a different tune even though the ruling Pakistan People’s Party had always defended the security establishment. (PTI)


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