Musharraf, Gillani stress political unity to confront state issues

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Islamabad, Mar 25 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani today stressed the need for political forces in the country to get united to effectively confront the challenges of terrorism, extremism and economic issues.

In a brief joint interaction with media soon after the swearing-in ceremony of the new Pakistan prime minister here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the two leaders expressed the resolve to cooperate and take the country forward on path of progress and prosperity.

''I will extend my full support to him, always,'' President Pervez Musharraf said when asked about his role in the new government.

The Pakistani president said all the political forces in the country needed to work together to confront the threats of extremism and terrorism looming ahead.

''If we all move forward, maintaining our balance, it will be good, but in this regard the prime minister will have to play a leading role,'' he added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani said, ''It's a split mandate, I have to take allied parties along, so Inshallah we will formulate a plan of action so that we can deliver.'' ''All forces need to join hands to take the country out of these crises,'' he added.

''We need support of all. What is parliament? Parliament is the President, the National Assembly and the Senate...therefore we have to ensure supremacy of the parliament,'' the Associated Press of Pakistan quoted him as saying.

He said from his parliamentary experiences, he learnt the lesson that institutions need to be strengthened.

When asked about his cooperation with the President, Mr Gillani said Pakistan was on the crossroads and passing through a sensitive phase.

''We need the cooperation of everybody,'' he said, adding, ''The nation has high hopes from us and we need to deliver and if we fail, they would loose all hope.'' ''I would request it to the nation, the political forces, the President, that together we all should cooperate to take the country out of crises,'' he added.

About the need for institutional harmony, he said, ''If all institutions work according to the constitution, there will be no confrontation.'' He added the parliament, judiciary, press, bureaucracy and army all need to play their role according to the constitution.

Mr Gilani thanked the nation for its mandate and said it was reflective of the aspirations of the people as to what type of government they want.

''We are grateful to the people of Pakistan and the nation and I am proud of my nation and we will live for Pakistan and die for Pakistan,'' he said.

He informed that he would announce the 100-day programme at the floor of the house, soon after taking the vote of confidence.

He said he was grateful to the president and thanked him for his cooperation. Earlier, the two leaders and their families received the guests at the reception. General (retd) Musharraf and Mr Gillani also had a brief separate interaction.


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