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Afghan solution minus Pakistan won`t work: PM

September 28, 2011

PESHAWAR, Sept 28: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday warned that any attempt to address Afghan crisis without engaging Pakistan wouldn’t bear fruit.

“Pakistan is part of solution to Afghan problem, not part of the problem. Therefore, any attempt to address it minus Pakistan will be unproductive,” the prime minister said at a dinner hosted by Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Masood Kausar at the Governor’s House.

Mr Gilani said Pakistan supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan. He, however, said the process should not destabilise Pakistan.

“We want a stable and prosperous Afghanistan,” he said.

Mr Gilani said Pakistan had its own interest in the region and it would protect it at all costs.

About security threats to the country, he said he had called an all parties conference in Islamabad today (Thursday) to evolve a consensus strategy through collective wisdom.

He said Pakistan    was a responsible nuclear power and had many friends across the world.

“Pakistan has no demand and it wants to be treated like a responsible and dignified state. We want to have friendly and brotherly relations with neighbouring countries on the basis of mutual respect and honour,” he added.

The prime minister said Pakistan would not compromise its integrity and solidarity and that the nation was united against any foreign aggression.

He said his government restored the 1973 Constitution through a majority vote in parliament paving the way for Quaid's vision of transforming Pakistan into a parliamentary democracy.

The dinner was attended among others by JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, chief of his own faction of PPP Aftab Sherpao, President PML-Likeminded Salim Saifullah Khan, former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad, ANP leader Ghulam Bilour, provincial head of ANP Afrasayab Khattak and provincial chief of PTI Asad Qaisar.

Governor Punjab Latif Khosa, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti, federal and provincial ministers, and members of parliament also attended the dinner.

Later, the prime minister met delegations of business community and People’s Lawyer Forum, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Governor’s House.

He told a delegation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry that the Prime Minister’s Financial Package-2010 for revival of economic activities in the province would be implemented.

NEXT CABINET MEETING: The prime minister also addressed a meeting of Pakistan People’s Party, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the Governor’s House and said the next meeting of the federal cabinet would be held in Peshawar.

He also said he would hold meetings with the party leadership and workers to fill vacant posts in the party's provincial cabinet to organise the party.

NATIONAL UNITY: Earlier, the prime minister addressed a lawyers’ convention on the Peshawar High Court premises and urged the nation to forge unity for the country’s sovereignty.

“We are a nation of around 180 million people and know how to defend our country. There is no threat to the country if we are united,” the prime minister said.

Mr Gilani said the opposition criticised the government over reconciliation policy but disregarded its contribution towards landmark reforms in different sectors, including constitutional amendments.

The prime minister, who showed up at the invitation of Peshawar High Court Bar Association, announced a grant of Rs50 million for bar associations in the province for improving infrastructure, including libraries and barrooms.

He also announced establishment of a university of information technology in Peshawar of international standards.

TRAFFIC MESS: The prime minister’s arrival led to mess on the city roads.

Traffic police forced public transporters to keep their vehicles off major roads to the misery of commuters, who had to travel by foot or hire taxis to reach destinations.

Overcharging by cabbies was also reported. At many points, people complained of harsh behaviour of policemen, who were deployed in the city in large numbers.

Though the prime minister reached the city at midday, police closed roads in the morning.

Motorists were also stopped from parking vehicles alongside Mall Road, while those parked there were removed by forklift truck. Khyber Road remained closed to the traffic due to a barricade near East Cantonment police station. — APP/Bureau