Gilani says Pak govt to take public stand on Zardari Swiss cases after SC review

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Islamabad, Sep 29 (ANI): A day after the Pakistan government got a breather from the Supreme Court in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has stated that his government would take a public stand on the apex court's demand to reopen the Swiss cases involving President Asif Ali Zardari after the court's decision on the NRO review petition.

Speaking to the Dawn, Gilani ruled out any possibility that the government would come out with a summary similar to the one which he was earlier reported to have signed, to inform the SC that Islamabad would not write to the Swiss court for reviving the withdrawn cases against Zardari because of his constitutional immunity.

"There is no need of a summary now," the prime minister said, but declined to confirm or deny last week's media reports that the law and justice ministry had forwarded him the recommendation, stating that the cases against Zardari cannot be reopened.

Stating that he had not received the final list of the beneficiaries, he said he would take a decision on whether or not to sack the NRO beneficiaries among the government officials, after getting the list from the law ministry.

Commenting on reports that there could be a confrontation between the government and the judiciary over the Swiss cases, he said, "The Constitution gave rights to all the institutions. We are here to protect the Constitution and respect and strengthen institutions. Therefore, I don't think that there is any sort of (conflict)."

To another question, the prime minister replied, "Institutions are working within the sphere of the Constitution. There is nothing to fear."

Gilani asserted that his PPP-led coalition government had good relations with the so-called 'establishment,' which he said meant the military, unlike the previous three PPP governments when the situation was not the same.

"This is for the first time we are on the same page," he emphasised.

The prime minister rejected the prevailing perception that he might seek a fresh vote of confidence from the National Assembly in the aftermath of adverse speculation over the future of his government. "Parliament is with me," he said, adding, "What is the need for me (to seek a fresh vote)."

Rejecting speculation in a section of the media of perceived dangers to his government, he said, "You have been believing others (and) they have let you down badly," he said. "Now you should believe us. We are here to stay."

Gilani ruled out any immediate plan for a military operation in North Waziristan, as often suggested by US officials for eliminating suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban hideouts. However, he said that it could be done "if there is need" and "wherever there is a threat". (ANI)

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