Gilani says PPP can't be frightened

January 11, 2012

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Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani addresses to the Parliamentarians and notables from Sargodha Division during meeting held at PM House in Islamabad on Tuesday. – Photo by PPI

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani continued to flaunt his defiance on Tuesday, but his criticism was not directly aimed at the Supreme Court options about implementation of the NRO suggested earlier during the day.

Addressing People's Party MNAs, MPAs and office bearers from the Sargodha division at the prime minister house, he said the PPP had the tradition of neither submitting to coercion nor giving in to dictatorships and while doing so its heads had faced rigours of imprisonment.

"Zulifkar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto bore the rigours of imprisonment and also laid down their lives but their ideologies could not be eliminated",a press release issued by the prime minister house quoted Mr Gilani as saying.

Referring to the SC order in which the prime minister prima facie has been described as 'dishonest', Mr Gilani said: "Regretfully all dictators are portrayed as innocent while all politicians are considered corrupt".

Addressing the subject of NRO, on which the Supreme Court apparently issued a harsh ruling, the prime minister said: The NRO is in the thick of discussions these days, but NROs have been the order of the day in the past which were named as plea bargains.

Referring to Mian Nawaz Sharif's exile in Saudi Arabia, Mr Gilani said that going abroad under a deal was also NRO, adding, in essence, there is no difference between both except that we are victimised while others are rewarded.

Further defending his party's right to be in government, Mr Gilani said it came to power because of people while others stepped into corridors of power through other means.

"We play politics of principles whereas others change their principles for sake of power," he said.

Referring to a recent federal cabinet decision under which civil bureaucracy and army officers would be bound to make public their assets, the prime minister said that now onwards it would be incumbent upon all government employees to declare their assets as public document.

Earlier, the civil servants used to file details of their assets but only for government consumption, but for the first time not only civilian officials but also army officers have been asked to declare their assets as public documents.

The prime minister said the media had reported former president Gen Musharraf's assets worth billions of rupees, but no action would be taken against him.

In an obvious dig at two former party members of the National Assembly-Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Sardar Assef Ahmad Ali-who have recently joined the PTI, the prime minister said that those who came and left the party were opportunists.

"The PPP workers are loyal to their ideology and I appeal to intellectuals to regard PPP and its leaders as an asset and protect them," Mr Gilani said.

He said that it was not easy to struggle and do politics in this country.

He said that 'angels' would come to him in jails and invite him and members of PPP to support Musharraf.

He said that these 'angels' promised power in return for trading conscience, but "we never considered any backdoor entry into power nor did we commit disloyalty".

Mr Gilani said the PPP believed that only the people were the source and repository of all powers.

He also recounted successes of his government mainly comprising restoration of 1973 Constitution, passage of NFC award, and giving of identity to the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

A senior PPP office-bearer told Dawn that although it was a fact that with every passing day the government was being cornered from all sides,'we will not leave the field just like that' Asked about the PPP's course of action after the Supreme Court ruling on implementation of the NRO, the PPP official said the party would fall back on the supremacy of parliament.

If agreed upon among all coalition partners, the government might go for moving a resolution in parliament in its support, the PPP leader said.