MULTAN: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani dismissed on Friday any chance of early polls, saying that the general elections will be held after parliament completes its tenure.
Talking to reporters after inaugurating a new building of the Pakistan Television, the prime minister said that the demand for early elections was an old technique of ‘the have-nots to become haves’. The government, he said, will follow the constitutional and legal process to hold the elections.
Gilani , who is on a three-day visit in his hometown Multan, said that the coalition government was stable and that other political parties also supported the view that parliament should complete its tenure.
He added that all the ‘hue and cry’ for early polls was aimed at sabotaging the upcoming Senate elections in March.
‘PPP faces no threat’
The premier said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the only leader in the history of Pakistan who managed to bring about a revolution in the country.
Commenting on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, he said, “Such parties are made overnight and come to an end overnight.” He added that the PPP was an ideological party and will not be affected by such parties.
Gilani was quick to play down any differences between civil and military forces, saying that the government had ‘excellent relations’ with the army.
He rejected the impression of ‘begging’ or ‘requesting’ the army chief to accept an extension in his service, and said the misunderstanding was caused by the ambiguity of the English translation of his version.
Gilani also discussed Pakistan’s relations with the US and India, saying that the new terms of engagement with the US will now be decided by parliament.
He added that his government will strive for maintaining peaceful relations with India.
While speaking about the issue of a new province in the Seraiki region, Gilani assured that his government will raise the issue in parliament and will take all stakeholders into confidence.
“PPP has always addressed the grievances of the people of Seraiki region and only PPP would help create a new province in the area,” he said.
Gilani, while nominating his son for the NA-148 seat vacated by Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that the assembly seat belonged to the PPP and the people of the area will help get it back.
During his visit, the prime minister laid a foundation stone for the Askari bypass and inaugurated the PTV centre in Multan.
He also launched a flyover project which will connect the area directly to a new international airport in Multan.
Gilani further distributed 300 cheques under the Benazir Income Support Programme. (with aDDITIONAL INPUT from APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2011.