Zardari ready to surrender important powers: Gilani

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Islamabad, Nov.18 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that President Asif Ali Zardari is ready to surrender the powers to appoint services chiefs and dissolve parliament.

Talking to media persons in Dera Ismail Khan, where he met internally displaced persons (IDPs) from South Waziristan, Gilani stressed that while Zardari is ready to relinquish his powers, he does not want to acquire the authority of appointing the services chiefs.

"The president is already willing to give up these powers," The Daily Times quoted Gilani, as saying.

"I am not interested in acquiring these powers. What would I do when I have the authority under Article 58(2b) ... I am not here to dissolve the assemblies," he added.

Responding to a question Gilani ruled out any change in the North West Frontier Province's (NWFP) Governor office, saying: "You cannot change your general in the middle of war."

Gilani did not ruled out expansion of military offensive against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda is other parts of the country, but declined to divulge details regarding future action.

Earlier, addressing a gathering of elders from the Mehsud tribe, the Prime Minister expressed satisfaction over the on going military operations against the militants and said that the 'objectives were being achieved ahead of time.'

Gilani highlighted that the government was working to provide basic amenities in the tribal region in order to prevent the youth from taking up militancy.

"Terrorism stemmed from poverty and illiteracy. The government, therefore, is working to provide basic facilities in the Tribal Areas," he said.

"Majority of people here are peace loving, but terrorists from Uzbekistan, Chechnya and Arab countries created such a situation which forced the government to use military force," Gilani added. (ANI)

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