LONDON: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday vowed to protect the constitution of Pakistan at all cost and not to be deterred by any threat.
“Come what may I will protect the constitution of Pakistan, I will go to the last limit and exhaust all my options and exercise my right to appeal,” Gilani told a large gathering of leaders and workers of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) here at a local hotel.
The prime minister said his case was related to the interpretation of the constitution of the country and his only crime was protecting the constitution.
He said, “I am not one of those who will stab the party in the back as he believed that under Article 248 of the constitution and Vienna Convention the President of Pakistan has complete immunity and he is not required to write any letter, as it is a violation of the constitution.”
The premier expressing resolve to protect the country said, “We will reject any unconstitutional step in Pakistan.”
Gilani said the opposition wants him to resign on moral grounds. “But I want to know that hundreds of cases are lying pending with the courts against them and I wish that a decision is taken on these cases as well.”
The prime minister said there were a number of cases against the Sharifs with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and especially the Mehran Bank case has been pending for the past twenty years, besides several other cases were with the judiciary.
He questioned that “while cases against Nawaz Sharif were pending in the courts, how they were taking out rallies in support of judiciary. Would it not embarrass the judiciary?”
Gilani said though there was no law for the contempt of court in the country and even Babar Awan has not been charge sheeted, yet he has been convicted.
He said there was also a contempt of court case related to the Chief Justice against a police official but it was also lying pending.
During the address interspersed with loud slogans of support from the large gathering of the PPP workers here on the last day of his five-day visit to the United Kingdom, Gilani said certain self-created leaders were now through their “so-called” public gatherings, trying in vain to tell the world that he was no longer the prime minister of the country.
On the contrary, he said, the leadership of the United Kingdom received him at all three important fora of the parliament, the government and Royalty.
“We do not care if you do not accept me. The world acknowledges me, the constitution of Pakistan recognises me, the people of Pakistan recognise me,” he added.
“Who are you, the one who was convicted for hijacking a plane?” Gilani asked.
Prime Minister Gilani said the judiciary gave General Pervez Musharraf the right to oust Nawaz Sharif, and gave approval to all his acts. “Why the party did not raise a voice for a long march at that stage?” he asked.
He said the people of Pakistan want to know the details of Nawaz Sharif's journey from Attock to Jeddah in the dark of the night.
Gilani said Nawaz Sharif left the country after a plea bargain, which was a confession and pledged not to be part of any politics for ten years.
He termed it an act, shameful for any politician. He recalled that Javed Hashmi himself said that for years they claimed that there was no deal with the dictator, but when Nawaz Sharif returned he himself gave a statement saying actually it was for five years and not ten.
Gilani regretted that the PPP inked the Charter of Democracy (CoD) with Nawaz Sharif and extended him full support when he was in difficult time, however in return it got undue criticism from the Pakistan Mulim League-Nawaz (PML-N), that despite being in government was acting like an opposition.
He quoted late Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan who regretted that Nawaz Sharif and his family left secretly in the dark of night with 40 suitcases and remarked that it was the first time that he was dealing with a businessman, who has nothing to do with politics or a commitment to the party or the country.
Prime Minister Gilani said the entire politics of Nawaz Sharif revolves around creating disruption in traffic, burning tyres and causing lawlessness. He said it was also for the first time that a province was leading protests against the federation, which in itself was an act of high treason.
Gilani also shared the decisions taken at a recent energy conference in Lahore, where it was decided to have two-weekly offs and closing down businesses early to save electricity, but the Sharif brothers again declined to follow the decisions and were trying to launch protest against the government.