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Quit assemblies if you have courage; Gilani challenges PML-N

07 May, 2012

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LAHORE: Throwing a challenge to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani asked the opposition party to resign from assemblies if they had courage to do so.

"I will announce by-polls same day" the PML-N resigns from assemblies, the prime minister said in a meeting with office-bearers of the Lahore Press Club.

Gilani asked his political foes not to live in a fool's paradise as general elections would be on time, in 2013.

He said the Sharifs were expressing solidarity with courts only to save themselves from several cases against them such as Mehrangate.

"If they want to express solidarity, they should go to courts and get themselves cleared of cases."

Gilani said he and President Asif Ali Zardari had faced dictators with courage while PML-N President Nawaz Sharif had flown away after signing an agreement with dictator Pervez Musharraf.

"The PPP leadership will again face dictators, if need be, but Mian brothers will again escape from the country in such a situation," the prime minister said.

Gilani said he was a constitutionally and democratically elected prime minister, adding that a vote of no-confidence by assembly members was the only way to oust him.

He said that filing an appeal against the Supreme Court's verdict was his right according to Article 10-A of the constitution. "But qualifying or disqualifying a prime minister is not the job of courts because it is a parliamentary process," Gilani said.

He said lawyers had supported stance of the PPP not only on the issue of ad hoc judges but also on legality of office of the prime minister.

"Nobody can remove me from the office of prime minister through any undemocratic or unconstitutional method. There is a constitutional procedure to remove a PM from his office," he said.

About non-implementation of Energy Conference's decision of two weekly holidays in Punjab, the prime minister said Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif did not want to play his role in overcoming power crisis. The Punjab government is cashing in on the ongoing energy crisis, he added. The prime minister said no one could stop the process of making new provinces.

End.

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