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Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Sunday said that the government wanted unanimous passage of the 20th Constitutional Amendment and was holding discussions with allies and opposition to reach a mutual understanding on it.

Responding to questions of media persons at the end of the inaugural session of Seerat-un-Nabi (SAWW) Conference here, the prime minister said since the Parliament had passed the previous amendments with consensus hence, the government desired to go ahead with the 20th Amendment in the same manner.

He said since the amendment was a very serious matter and the apex court had also directed to get a nod from the Parliament, therefore, the government was discussing the matter with its allies.

He said the process was going on and it was passing through the Parliamentary Committee for Law and Justice and different phases to seek point of view of the opposition parties.

He said the government wanted free, fair and transparent elections through an independent Election Commission.

Gilani said the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was not a one-timer and had always suffered because of rigging in the elections, therefore it wanted to ensure transparency in the polls.

Gilani also said that a conspiracy was being hatched against the creation of a Seraiki province and the government would work even more effectively for its creation.

Gilani said many issues had to be taken into consideration for the creation of a new province. There should be a province that covers not only Bahawalpur, but also adjoining areas in Southern Punjab, he added.

When asked whether he feared the courts, Gilani said the case was proceeding as part of a process. He, however, said it was the media that from day one had been giving dates of the supposed collapse of government.

Responding to a question, the prime minister regretted that not even a single government was allowed to complete its term, which led to a spate of problems that the nation was facing today.

He said Pakistan and India were created on the same date, but there was a stark difference in how they have continued with their system.

The completion of term by the Parliament is in the interest of the country, he added.

Replying to a question about the names of several candidates that were being named as Prime Minister, Gilani said any person, who qualifies to be a member of the National Assembly, qualifies to be a prime minister.

Gilani said several conspiracies were hatched to stop the election of Senate, however, the government remained committed to holding the election.

When asked about his expected talks in Qatar and discussion on the future of Afghanistan, Gilani said a stable Afghanistan was vital.

“If there is any political reconciliation that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned, we will support it.”

Gilani said Pakistan was part of a core group that included Afghanistan and the United States and it meets regularly.

He said peace in Afghanistan was vital for the security and stability of Pakistan.

About reports of restoration of Nato supply, the prime minister referred to statements by some political parties who said they would not let these supplies open.

He said the government had not taken the decision to halt supplies on the request of these parties, but because of national interest.

He said the government would follow the recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on relations with the US as these would represent the views of the entire nation.