Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File Photo
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said that the courts, under no law, could disqualify a public representative and said he had complete immunity in discharge of his duties.

Gilani said he had the right to appeal and that could not be denied.

He was addressing a gathering to regularise 661 contractual employees of the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC).

“We have full respect of the courts, and I appeared before the courts thrice,” the prime minister said.

Gilani said he was working in line with the Constitution. “I have no moral turpitude. I have complete immunity in discharge of my duties under Article 248 A,” Prime Minister Gilani told reporters.

He said he was yet to receive a copy of the court’s order and said he would avail his constitutional right to appeal once the detailed judgment was issued.

“I have the right to appeal, if rejected it will be sent to the parliament, and it is up to them to turn me out or not,” he said.

He said it was the prerogative of the Speaker National Assembly to decide about his future.

The prime minister rejected the existence of any constitutional crisis in the country.

“There is no constitutional problem in Pakistan. Only the 'Sharif courts' are doing their own interpretations.”

He said even Imran Khan had said he would wait for the detailed judgment, before any decision.

“They (PML-N) can't even do a short march, what to talk of a long march,” he said, when asked about the opposition’s claims of a long march.

He said the law of the land was same for all citizens and the nation would judge who is right. Gilani also mentioned the results of a by-election in Multan, in which a PPP candidate won the seat, hours after the Supreme Court had announced its verdict, sentencing him until the rising of the court.

He said the Sharif family committed a number of mistakes in the past and were doing so again. He mentioned the memo issue and asked what the Sharifs had achieved by raising the matter.

He said Nawaz Sharif remained a convict for nine years after signing an agreement to leave the country for 10 years with former president Pervez Musharraf.

“I want to know how their (Sharif brothers') travel from Adiyala jail to Jeddah was made possible?” Gilani asked.

Gilani said he had faced a jail term of five years, which according to the jail manual was equivalent to 10 years of sentence.

He recalled that while framing the 17th and 18th amendments, the only issue raised by Nawaz Sharif was to add the condition of waiver on a third term for a prime minister.

“Even though it did not benefit us, we accepted to favour the desire of one person, against the 180 million.”

When asked about Mehrangate, Gilani said: “We hope the decision on the matter is quick, as it was in our case.”

Earlier in his address, Prime Minister Gilani announced the holding of local bodies’ polls for Islamabad and said he was proud to bring democracy to the capital.

Gilani said people were the real source of power and it was his desire to give them their due share by holding local bodies’ elections.

He said he wanted the people of the country and the media to judge if the government followed its manifesto. He said the government had implemented 80 per cent of the party's manifesto and termed it a success of the government.

About the regularisation of employees at Radio Pakistan, Gilani said the process was carried out across the board regardless of the employees’ political affiliation. He regretted that it was the Nawaz Sharif government that dismissed thousands of employees that had been inducted by the government of Benazir Bhutto.