Pak PM says won`t be present in SC for hearing of review plea

Gilani says reports of differences btw him & Zardari a joke & rubbishes speculation abt fall of govt.

Last Updated: Oct 12, 2010, 20:51 PM IST

Peshawar: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani today ruled out the possibility of appearing in the Supreme Court tomorrow when it takes up the government`s petition seeking a review of the verdict striking down a graft amnesty that benefited President Asif Ali Zardari.

"The Turkish Prime Minister is arriving in Islamabad today and I will visit Punjab and Sindh with him tomorrow. So I will not go to the Supreme Court," Gilani told reporters at
Charsadda in northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, where he had gone for an official function.

The apex court will tomorrow take up the government`s petition seeking a review of the verdict annulling the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), a graft amnesty
issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf that benefited over 8,000 people, including Zardari.

The government has already refused to revive corruption cases against Zardari in Switzerland, saying the Constitution grants the President immunity from prosecution.

Gilani described reports of differences between him and Zardari as a "joke" and rubbished speculation about the fall of his government, saying he would complete his five-year term in office as there is no potential threat to the elected dispensation.
"Only the people have the right to bring about any change. We have come to power with the support of the people and not through any back door," he said. "It is not the prerogative of those who sit in drawing rooms to talk about change," he said, rejecting statements by "some television critics" about a political change being in the air.

Certain elements are trying to push things that are undoable, he said, adding the democratic system is the country`s lifeline. Gilani said he had been hearing rumours and speculation about the fall of his government for the past two-and-a-half years.

The government had survived despite facing tremendous pressure whereas any other administration would not be able to survive for even six months in similar circumstances, he said.

On the opposition`s reservations about the appointment of the new Chairman of the National Accountability Bureau, the country`s anti-corruption agency, Gilani said this was an administrative appointment made by the President using his discretionary powers and it was not a Constitutional matter.

The Leader of Opposition in Parliament was consulted on the issue, he said. Replying to a question on whether Pakistan is on board in ongoing talks between the Taliban and Afghan government, he said: "Nothing can happen without us. We are part of the
solution, we are not part of the problem."

PTI