Islamabad: Pakistan`s main opposition PML-N
has claimed that the PPP-led government can be ousted through
the third option of an "in-house change" available in the
Constitution, a day after Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani ruled out
the possibility of mid-term poll or imposition of martial law.
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, the Leader of Opposition in the
National Assembly or lower house of Parliament and one of the
most vocal critics of the PPP-led government, has claimed that
there is a "third course" for changing the government -- an
in-house change that would be allowed by the provisions of the
After a PML-N MP advocated the dissolution of Parliament
for holding fresh polls yesterday, a visibly annoyed Gilani
ruled out the possibility of mid-term elections and imposition
of martial law during a speech in the National Assembly.
Gilani accused those desiring the removal of his
government of being involved in a conspiracy against Pakistan.
All those seeking the dissolution of the National
Assembly and calling for mid-term polls are actually trying to
tear the country apart and derail democracy, he said.
Shortly after Gilani made the remarks, PML-N leader
Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told reporters: "The Prime Minister in
his speech has talked about two (possible) ways of the
government`s ouster but he did not mention the third option of
an in-house change that is available in the Constitution."
Khan contended Gilani had deliberately avoided mentioning
the third option.
During an appearance on a talk show on a TV news channel,
Khan said Gilani would not "remain Prime Minister even if one
ally quits (of the PPP-led coalition government)."
He claimed that Gilani`s remarks reflected his
frustration because of criticism of the government`s policies
coming from within the PPP.
If the situation remains the same, Gilani would not be
able to stop the change even by shouting to the contrary from
the roof of the National Assembly, Khan said.
Gilani`s annoyance with PML-N leaders calling for
mid-term elections in recent days was also reflected in three
official releases issued by the Prime Minister`s office
yesterday. All the statements quoted Gilani as saying that the
PPP would not let anyone derail democracy.
During a meeting with Senate Chairman Farooq Naek, Gilani
said Pakistan had already suffered heavily at the hands of
dictatorial regimes on account of their short-sighted policies
and the current government had worked hard to put the system
back on the rails because progress is "unimaginable in the
absence of representative institutions."
Gilani noted that the results of by-elections are a
"convincing indication of public support to the government`s
Naek supported Gilani`s assertion that "there is no
justification for mid-term elections at a time when the
country is facing serious economic issues."
During another meeting with ministers and lawmakers,
Gilani said "certain forces in the Parliament have wishful
thinking to derail the democratic process" and were demanding
Strongly rejecting the calls for dissolution of
Parliament, Gilani said democracy is the only solution to the
problems facing Pakistan.