London: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said Pakistanis are free to leave the country if they want, and that there is no one stopping them from doing so.
Gilani, while in London, was asked a question by a CNN interviewer, along with a quote, which said only 20 percent of his countrymen supported him, while one third of Pakistanis wanted to leave the country because it was a dysfunctional society, reports The News, responding to which he said, “Why don’t they leave? Who is stopping them?”
Gilani’s government has become increasingly unpopular, with the PM given a token jail sentence last month by the country`s Supreme Court. He presently faces myriad national woes: a faltering economy, widespread poverty and corruption and now, his own future, states the paper.
Regarding his conviction by the apex court, Gilani said only the Parliament had the right to force him from office.
"If I`m disqualified, notified by the Speaker, then yes I have to," he said.
Gilani defended himself just as strongly as he defended Pakistan and the course it has taken in battling terrorism.
"Whatever I have done is according to the Constitution," he claimed. "It is not on any moral turpitude or financial corruption."
Gilani admitted recent relations with the Obama administration hadn`t been "too normal" but said the CIA and ISI were still working hard together to wipe out or "achieve" high-level targets.
"There`s a trust deficit between both the countries, between both the governments," Gilani said, adding, "That is the reason we want to work for new terms of engagement and cooperation with the United States."