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Gilani wants president’s immunity upheld

September 27, 2012


Former prime minister of Pakistan and the Senior Vice Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Yousuf Raza Gilani. – File Photo

LAHORE: Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the government should not omit the constitutional clause pertaining to the president’s immunity from a new draft of a letter to be sent to the Swiss authorities under court orders in the NRO judgment implementation case.

“I will oppose the move if the president’s immunity is ignored in the letter. The president has immunity under the Constitution.

I followed the Constitution and refused to write the letter,” he said while addressing a seminar on ‘Demand for new provinces and coming elections’.

He said immunity was the basic issue in the matter and the government should not compromise on it in the draft to be submitted to the Supreme Court on Oct 5.

“I will support my party’s government on writing the letter if the president’s immunity is not compromised.”

Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said the PPP stood by its stance, indicating that there would be no compromise on the question of immunity.

Mr Gilani said judges should not appear on TV and they should speak through their judgment instead of statements. In the 1990s, he said, judges did not appear on TV and avoided gatherings.

The PPP would continue to protect the freedom and rights of the judiciary and the media, he said.

He criticised the PML-N and said it had become a petitioner in almost all cases against the government, be it the memo scandal or the NRO, but when it came to a case concerning the chief justice it preferred to stay away.

Expressing concern over implication of his son Ali Musa in the ephedrine quota case, Mr Gilani said: “During my government there was no political prisoner but now my son is living the life of a prisoner.”

Referring to the PTI, he said revolutions were not brought by those who switched loyalties. “Those who have joined the PTI in Multan remained ministers and now they are eying some other positions.”

He said the PPP would address the grievances of the people of south Punjab and create a new province for them in accordance with their demand.