Stark differences in India, Pak democracy: Gilani

Pakistan and India were created on the same date but there was a stark difference in how they have continued with their democratic systems, Pak PM lamented.

Islamabad: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani
on Sunday pointed to the "stark difference" in the continuity of
the democratic systems of India and Pakistan and said
conspiracies were being hatched against his government to
prevent the holding of elections to the Senate next month.

Pakistan and India were created on the same date but
there was a "stark difference in how they have continued" with
their democratic systems, Gilani told reporters on the
sidelines of an official function in the federal capital.

For a long time, not a single government in Pakistan was
allowed to complete its term, he remarked.

This had led to a spate of problems for Pakistan and the
completion of Parliament`s term is in the interest of the
country, he said.

Gilani said "lots of conspiracies" were being hatched to
disrupt the polls to the Senate or upper house of parliament
and the government had faced lots of difficulties, he said.

"Even now, one party has gone to court to stop the Senate
polls," he said, in an apparent reference to Imran Khan`s
Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, which has approached the Supreme
Court to stay the elections.

Gilani`s Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is widely expected
to win a majority of the 54 Senate seats for which polls will
be held next month.

The premier has repeatedly alleged that elements opposed
to his government have been hatching conspiracies to disrupt
the elections.

The premier said his government is holding talks with its
allies and opposition parties for the unanimous passage of a
constitutional amendment to legitimise recent bye-polls.

All previous amendments in the recent past had been
passed with consensus in parliament and the government wants
the 20th amendment to be cleared in the same manner, he said.

The main aim of the amendment is to give legal cover to
bye-elections to the national and provincial assemblies held
at a time when the Election Commission was incomplete due to
non-appointment of some members.

The legal status of lawmakers elected in these bye-polls
was questioned by the Supreme Court while hearing another
petition filed by Imran.

Reports have said 28 members of the national and
provincial assemblies could be disqualified if parliament
fails to pass the amendment within a deadline set by the apex

Gilani said the constitutional amendment was a "very
serious matter" as the issue affected all major political
parties, including the PML-N, PML-Q, Awami National Party and
Muttahida Qaumi Movement.

The government will also ensure that the Election
Commission is independent so that the next general election is
free, fair and transparent elections, he said.

Gilani repeated his contention that political parties
could take up the issue of early polls after the Senate
elections and the passage of the budget.

Asked about the February 13 summons issued to him by the
apex court for the framing of contempt charges for failing to
reopen graft cases against the President, Gilani said the case
was proceeding as part of a process.

The Prime Minister said it was the media that has been
setting dates for the "collapse of the government".

Replying to a question about possible candidates to
replace him as Prime Minister in the event of his conviction
by the apex court, Gilani said any person who qualifies to be
a member of the National Assembly would qualify to be the


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