Gilani says he quit in respect for judiciary
01 July, 2012
LAHORE: Former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Saturday he quit his office in respect for the judiciary and was the only premier who was still in the country after leaving premiership.
Addressing a seminar 'The Conflicts of Institutions and Sustainability of Democracy', he said the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) restored 1973 constitution in its real form because it respected institutions. He termed it a "victory" as parliament had not disqualified him following his conviction by the Supreme Court.
The seminar was held at a local hotel under the auspices of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA). Wasim Akhtar of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Ehsaan Wayen of the Awami National Party, and senior journalists Hussain Naqi, Ziauddin Ahmad and Khalid Ahmad were also present on the occasion.
The former premier said that even Socrates had accepted a poison-filled bowl over a judicial verdict. "I am asked why I did not protest. Did Socrates protest? I didn't protest to prove that we respect the judiciary," he added.
"Had I refused to accept the court decision, the people would have not accepted court orders in the future," he said.
"I presented a resolution to authorise the party co-chairperson to pick up a new prime minister," Gilani added. The former prime minister was of the view that democracy in the country would become stable if two democratic governments would complete their tenures. Emphasising the need for political stability, he said that economic stability could not be maintained without political stability. He said the party had always taken democracy forward... and after becoming prime minister... he never hesitated from any sacrifice.
Referring to the recent developments... Gilani said Article 248 of the constitution needed no interpretation by anybody, and what he did was according to the constitution. The PPP government had restored the 1973 constitution in its true form although the party was blamed for not respecting the state institutions, he said.
"The PPP leaders and workers were imprisoned for many years. PPP believes in the politics of reconciliation, therefore, there was no political prisoner during his government" the former PM said.
He added that the PPP always acted carefully and presented unprecedented sacrifices, adding that parliament is sovereign, and that survival of democracy in Pakistan is linked with the completion of assemblies terms.