The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Thursday said it will respond to the challenge of its Prime Minister being convicted with a robust, considered and appropriate response with political maturity and wisdom in accordance with the Constitution of the country.
A meeting of the senior leadership of the Party was held in the Presidency to consider the situation arising out of the Supreme Court verdict in the case against the Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani
The meeting jointly presided over by the President and the Prime Minister and was attended among others by Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Nazar Muhammad Gondal, Rana M. Farooq Saeed Khan, Federal Minister for Defence Ch. Ahmed Mukhtar, Federal Minister for Information Qamar Zaman Kaira, Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik, Mir Hazar Khan Bijarani, Federal Minister for Information Technology Raja Perviaz Ashraf, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Senator Farooq H. Naek, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah, Makhdoom Shahab-ud-Din, Federal Minister for Power Naveed Qamar, Senator Jahangir Badar, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Rukhsana Bangash, Fouzia Wahab, Mehreen Anwar Raja, Fouzia Habib and the Presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said that at the outset the Defence Council consisting Aitzaz Ahsan briefed the meeting on the short order issued by the Supreme Court today.
After discussing the short order the meeting expressed dismay that an elected Prime Minister of the country had been sentenced for upholding the Constitution and supremacy of the Parliament.
It also noted with disappointment that while no dictator had been punished for suspension and abrogation of the Constitution, a democratically and unanimously elected Prime Minister has been sentenced for upholding the Constitution.
It expressed concern over attempts to dismiss an elected government and an elected Prime Minister, he said.
The meeting expressed complete solidarity with the Prime Minister and declared that Yousaf Raza Gilani was the elected Prime Minister of the country and could be removed only in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution for the removal of a Prime Minister.
The meeting congratulated the Prime Minister for standing up with dignity, grace and courage for defending the Constitution and upholding the supremacy of the Constitution.
The meeting expressed resolve of the Party that it will not be deterred from continuing its struggle for upholding the Constitution, the Parliament and the rule of law.
After careful deliberations the meeting decided to give a robust, considered and appropriate response to the new challenges with great political maturity and wisdom on the one hand and firmness on the other and employing all democratic and constitutional means available.
Farhatullah Babar said that the meeting placed on record its appreciation for the defence council Aitzaz Ahsan and his team for the spirited and competent defence of the Prime Minister in the Supreme Court.
It called upon the defence team to study the full order of the Court as and when it becomes available and give its considered opinion on whether and when to file an appeal against the verdict.
The meeting appreciated and thanked the allied parties in the coalition government for showing solidarity with the Prime Minister and signaling the unity of political forces.
Farhatullah Babar said that earlier a meeting was also held with coalition partners. The meeting presided over by President Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was attended by Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Ch. Pervaz Ilahi, Senator Afrasiab Khattak, Dr. Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghouri, Senator Mir Israrullah Zehri, Haji Khuda Baksh Rajar, Munir Khan Orakzai, Senator Abbas Khan Afridi, Syed Khursheed Shah, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Naveed Qamar and Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar.
The meeting of the coalition partners congratulated the Prime Minister over his stance in defending the Constitution and expressed complete solidarity with and support to the Prime Minister.
The President thanked the coalition partners for their support to strengthen the political system and standing behind the Prime Minister in upholding the Constitution. The President appreciated the stance of the coalition partners to uphold the rule of law instead of seeking political power.