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Gilani seeks US assistance to overcome energy crisis

May 29, 2011

Gilani said that Pakistan would continue its long-term strategic relationships with the US. -File Photo

LAHORE: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Sunday said that the government has sought US assistance to overcome load-shedding in the country in order to provide immediate relief to the masses.

During a meeting with senior journalists at his residence here, he said that US leadership has assured of assistance to the Pakistani government in providing cheap electricity to the masses.

Gilani said that he has asked the US leadership for more trade than aid, adding that market access for Pakistani businessmen would strengthen country's economy.

Regarding US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton's recent visit, he said that Hillary Clinton and Senator John Kerry have supported Pakistan's stance on the recent Abbottabad incident.

He said that the US leadership had not alleged Pakistan of incompetence or complacency on the Osama Bin Laden issue, adding that these statements were issued by some of the US generals.

About the drone attacks, the premier said no compromise would be made on the sovereignty and self respect of the country, adding that drone attacks are counter productive as these unite the Taliban who are separated as a result of the efforts of the government.

“Unilateral acts like Abbottabad incident will not be acceptable to us”, he said, saying that he himself moved the resolution against drone attacks in the NA.

Prime Minister Gilani has said that government is aware of its democratic responsibilities and an independent Commission on Abbottabad incident would be constituted shortly as per the demand of the opposition, adding that there are no deadlines in politics as democracy teaches reasoning and adjustment.

Taking strong exception to PTI Chief Imran Khan's statement, Gilani rejected Imran Khan's claims, saying that he did not own any assets abroad.

“I challenge Imran Khan to prove my foreign assets and I would donate all such assets in PTI party funds”, he stressed.

Gilani dispelled the impression that Pakistan has been isolated on the international front, stressing that Pakistan has complete backing of the West, European Union (EU), China, Saudi Arabia, Organization of the Islamic Countries (OIC) and our relations with our neighbours have improved a great deal.

To a query regarding ISI-CIA relations, he said that the estranged relations between the two intelligence agencies have been repaired to a great extent.

Gilani said that Pakistan would continue its long-term strategic relationships with the US.