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Gilani defended PPP stance in SC, says Kaira

06 October, 2012

SAHIWAL: Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira on Friday dispelled the impression that former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani was made a scapegoat, saying Gilani defended his party's stance on NRO case in the Supreme Court.

He was addressing a press conference. To a question, he said the government went ahead in the case as the court said it would take care of the federation's reservations and wanted to have a middle way, while resolving the matter in accordance with the constitution.

The minister said a caretaker government would be formed to hold free and fair elections within 60 days.

Kaira said that upcoming general elections would be held on time and the assemblies would complete their tenure on March 18, 2013.

He hoped the issue would be resolved amicably as he was of the view that the PPP had always respected the judiciary and had no intention to confront with it.

He said some politicians, including Imran Khan and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, resorted to gaining publicity and fame by criticising President Asif Zardari.

Regarding Imran Khan's march to South Waziristan Agency, he said the government did not want to stop Imran Khan from leading the march, but everybody knows about the situation in the agency. He said the Pakistan Army was a national institution and did not support any political party rather, it worked under the government and would perform its duties in accordance with the constitution.

Kaira said the government was taking all political parties on board and it respected their mandate to resolve diverse issues. He said Yousaf Raza Gilani's interview had been quoted out of context as democracy was taking roots and there was a need to further strengthen it.

Gilani, he said, did not mean that there was no democracy in the country at all, rather his statement meant that democracy could be further underpinned to resolve various issues. Answering a question, he said the leader of the opposition alleged that he had recordings that the government doled out funds to journalists.

The minister challenged him to produce the recordings and asked him as to which secret agency he belonged to as making recordings was the work of secret agencies.

He said allegations were levelled against the government that it had over Rs 4 billion secret funds to appease the journalists. He added all the funds of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry were auditable and were utilised in a transparent manner. He said an organised campaign was launched against PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and a respectable cabinet member, using objectionable language. In the past, he added the PPP leaders were subjected to such baseless allegations.

Regarding a question about office of the president, he said the US president was the supreme commander but he did politics, adding office of the president was a part of parliament which was purely a political organ and having president, Senate and National Assembly as its composition.

Kaira said the PPP was taking all political parties on board and consulted allied parties instead of giving dictations on any issue.

End.

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