Article 58-2b, which allowed a president to dissolved the assemblies, is no longer part of the Constitution – and hence, he can’t hand this power to the court, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Wednesday.
The premier’s statements, made while talking to journalists in London, hinted heavily at a fighting mood.
The prime minister added that Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan want to become prime ministers without becoming MNAs.
Later, speaking to parliamentarians at the British House of Commons, he said that he had come to Britain on the invitation of Prime Minister David Cameron to further the Enhanced Strategic Dialogue (ESD) that started between the two countries last year.
The prime minister added that the two governments have jointly decided to enhance bilateral trade and investment, which aims to take trade to 2.5 billion pounds by 2015.
He appreciated that the UK played an important role in the promotion of Pakistani trade with European Union.
Referring to terrorism and regional ties, PM Gilani said Pakistan was committed in eliminating terrorism and in enhancing its ties with its neighbours, particularly Afghanistan and India. He reiterated that solutions to the problems of Afghanistan will have to come from within Afghanistan itself. Referring to India, he said Pakistan was making an utmost effort to resolve all issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.
The prime minister concluded by referring to Pakistan’s development as a democratic state, recalling the dictatorship of Ziaul Haq. He said that Pakistan’s commonwealth membership had been cancelled during the dictator’s regime, and was restored during the PPP’s tenure. He added that the country was free of political prisoners and had a completely free media and judiciary.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.