Lahore: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said had he been scared of anyone, he would not have joined politics, and added that he would rather be jailed than re-opening the alleged money laundering cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
“If you are in the coal business, your hands get black. If I were scared, I wouldn’t join politics. I am not afraid of anybody,” The Express Tribune quoted Gilani, as saying.
He was speaking at the 75th Convocation of Kinnaird College for Women in Lahore.
He said the Pakistan media had never been freer than under his government.
“I will give more freedom to the media. There are two reasons for it. First, when they (journalists) criticise us our sins are washed off. Second, the criticism takes us on to further heights,” he added.
Gilani said that his government was the only democratically elected to have completed four years.
“We completed four years in government while crossing the river of fire. Tomorrow (on Saturday), a constitutional requirement will be fulfilled which has never been fulfilled before. For the first time in history, President Asif Ali Zardari will address the joint session of Parliament for the fifth time. He will give the policy statement in his address, but I would like to reveal in the upcoming budget we will give relief to people,” he said.
Gilani said that Pakistan People’s Party had given autonomy under former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s regime and added that the party believes in emancipation and creating equal opportunities for women.
“First woman foreign minister is appointed by our government and so is the speaker of the National Assembly. We have given women the key slots,” he added.