No decision yet to downsize cabinet: PM Gilani
24 January, 2011
LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday although the government was not downsizing the cabinet immediately, strength of ministers would be ensured in accordance with the provisions of the 18th Amendment.
Talking to an eight-member delegation of local journalists working for foreign media at his residence in Defence Housing Authority, he said that a principled decision has been taken to make changes in the cabinet and announcement in this regard would be made after consultations with the coalition partners.
He said the Pakistan People’s Party has introduced tolerance and reconciliation in politics. The government was following the vision of Benazir Bhutto and taking political parties into confidence on every important issue, he added. The government has diversified the economy in various sectors, especially the agriculture sector, which helped improve food security, he said.
Gilani said the war on terrorism was in the best interest of Pakistan, and all the political parties, civil society and armed forces were united to eliminate the menace of terrorism.
He said Pakistan would take decision on the war on terror on its own. Pakistan had already conveyed to the international community that drone attacks were against its sovereignty and the world should provide technology so that it could eliminate terrorism, he added.
He said Pakistan wanted to resolve all disputes, including Kashmir, through dialogues with India. “The Indian premier also has positive approach, but unfortunately, he is under pressure by some people and parliament,” he continued. Gilani said a stable Afghanistan was in the interest of Pakistan.
Regarding power crises, he said the government has so far managed to add 1,400MW electricity in the main system, and power generation would be enhanced by the year-end. He denied any move to amend the blasphemy law. However, he stressed on effective measures to check the misuse of the law. Gilani said the government was planning life and health insurance and subsidised utility bills for the poorest. It was providing the poor youth technical education enabling them to earn their livelihood, he concluded.