Islamabad: Leaders of Pakistan`s ruling
coalition on Monday expressed "complete solidarity" with Prime
Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, hours after he was indicted for
contempt by the Supreme Court for refusing to reopen graft
cases against the President.
The partners of the ruling Pakistan People`s Party
expressed "complete solidarity with the government" of Gilani
at a meeting chaired by the premier.
The PPP and its allies discussed the current political
situation and agreed to work together for "continuation of the
political and democratic process in the country", said a
statement from the premier`s office.
"They further resolved to continue to work for the
sustenance and strengthening of the democratic dispensation in
the country," the statement said.
The meeting was attended by PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat
Hussain, Awami National Party head Asfandyar Wali Khan, Farooq
Sattar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Munir Khan Orakzai,
the leader of a group of MPs from the tribal areas, Interior
Minister Rehman Malik and Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah.
The apex court`s move added to the political uncertainty
in Pakistan amidst tensions between the civilian government
and the military leadership.
Gilani is the first Pakistani premier to be charged by a
court while in office and if he is convicted, he could be
imprisoned for six months and possibly removed from his post.
Legal experts have said Gilani could still avoid prison as
the President has the power to pardon him.
The apex court has been pressuring the government to
reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in
Switzerland since December 2009, when it struck down a graft
amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.
Gilani and his lawyers have argued that the cases against
Zardari cannot be reopened as the President enjoys immunity in
Pakistan and abroad.
In a separate meeting with a group of lawyers from his
hometown of Multan, Gilani said his government was following
the policy of reconciliation laid down by the PPP`s slain
chairperson, Benazir Bhutto.
This policy was very successful for forging consensus on
key political decisions, he said.
The delegation from the Multan Bar Association appreciated
Gilani`s appearance in the Supreme Court, which it said was
"tantamount to holding judiciary in high esteem" and reflected
the premier`s "commitment to rule of law and imperatives of
Gilani appreciated the lawyers` community`s struggle for
rule of law and for restoration of the constitution and
The restoration of the rights of people and democracy was
greatly due to their struggle along with the PPP, he said.