ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said there was no threat of a “judicial” or “military” coup, as both institutions were pro-democracy and did not want to derail the system. The prime minister was responding to queries of callers from across the country in a live PTV programme, “Prime Minister Online”.
To a question about the submission of reply by the government, army and ISI to the Supreme Court in the memo case, the PM said there would be one reply from the executive authority. He said Pakistan’s decision to boycott the Bonn Conference in protest against the NATO attack and violation of its sovereignty was final and taken collectively. “How we can attend the conference when our sovereignty came under attack,” he remarked.
He said in his opinion, the decision to not attend the conference was in line with national honour, self respect and dignity. He denied considering sending Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Bonn. Gilani said Pakistan could work with the US, NATO and ISAF under a new agreement and by devising new rules of engagement. “We have to formulate new rules of engagement and we can work under a new agreement.” The Prime Minister said it was up to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to give recommendations for a decision on ties with US and NATO. The NATO assault was “an attack on the integrity of Pakistan and it was decided in the resolutions of the joint sitting of parliament and All-Parties Conference that if US again takes a unilateral action, Pakistan will respond”, he said.
To a question about memo issue, Gilani said he called former ambassador Husain Haqqani to Pakistan, he submitted resignation and his matter was referred to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. But “Husain Haqqani should not be condemned unheard,” he remarked. Gilani rejected the view that a number of PPP leaders were deserting the party, saying that those PPP leaders who were committed to the party and its ideology would never leave the party in any circumstances. To a question on contender for the slot of prime minister after next elections, Gilani said the PPP chairman should become the prime minister and the whole party would be behind him. Replying to callers complaining about price hike and unemployment, he said the issues were not confined to Pakistan only, adding that the government was not oblivious to the problems and was working hard to address the issues.