KARACHI: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday reiterated that peace in Karachi, the economic hub of the country, was the number one priority for the Federal Government.
While speaking to media after a launching ceremony of plot sales for Pakistan Textile City at the Sindh Governor House on Saturday, he said “it is in the best interest of the country that peace and stability is maintained in Karachi.”
“I appeal to all the political leadership of the country and our coalition partners to give priority to Karachi. This should be across the board,” Gilani said, as Governor Sindh Isratul Ebad, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, and Textile Minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin stood in audience.
The Prime Minister said he had detailed discussion with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Altaf Hussain on Friday. “I appreciated his support for PPP’s initiative of “Aman Rally”. I also appreciated his [Altaf Hussain] gesture and his advice to party workers for taking part in the rally”.
He said “We need to follow this spirit to maintain peace in Karachi as it is vital for Pakistan”.
Responding to a question about law and order in the metropolis, he said it was the primary responsibility of provincial government and the Governor and Chief Minister of Sindh to take steps in this regard.
The Federal Government, he said, was there to give information and input of intelligence agencies to support their efforts. “We are even ready to help the province in its capacity building in the fight against terrorism. The federal government will endorse whatever decision they take in this regard”, he added.
Implementation of 7th NFC Award
On a question about Sindh government’s concerns about 7th NFC Award, he said that the Federal Government will honestly implement this Award in letter and spirit.
The Prime Minister pointed out that it was impossible that this Award not be implemented in the presence of their President and their own government at the Center.
He said there is a misconception about it. “I had also called the meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) which took several decisions and we will implement those decisions in accordance with the Constitution of Pakistan”, he added.
Gilani pointed out that the nation was passing through an evolution process. “There is media activism. Parliament and the Judiciary are also active and civil society is also vibrant”, he added.
Judiciary versus the State
He said there was a trichotomy of power in-built in the Constitution. “Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto gave us the Constitution and we restored it unanimously to its original shape. If there is any misunderstanding, it should be resolved by the respective institutions” , he added.
The judiciary and the Parliament, he said, gained this position after a lot of sacrifices from the lawyers community and political workers.“We will not allow derailing of this system at any cost”, he added.
Responding to a question about holding of All Parties’ Conference on Karachi issue, the Prime Minister said it was up to the Chief Minister of Sindh. “He can organise this if he feels necessary. I will come as a worker. I want stability in Pakistan. No government in power will want instability in its tenure. We do not want this”, he added.
Referring to the query about the relations between the government and the judiciary, he said the government will implement Supreme Court’s orders.