Hitting back: Wait your turn, PM Gilani tells Sharif

In an unusual outburst, the prime minister lambasts PML-N leadership, claims 18th Amendment written to suit Sharif.


Abdul Manan October 16, 2011

LAHORE: In polite but firm language, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani ruled out the possibility of an early election, asking his rivals to wait their turn until the 2013 elections, during a speech he delivered to the Lahore Press Club on Sunday.

The normally conciliatory and soft-spoken Gilani was uncharacteristically aggressive in his tone and body language, particularly when referring to the Sharif family, whose PML-N party is in power in Punjab.

The prime minister claimed that many of the clauses in the much-vaunted 18th constitutional amendment had been written specifically to benefit Nawaz Sharif, especially the one that removed the bar on a third term as prime minister for any individual. Sharif served two terms as prime minister in the 1990s.

(Read: PML-N intra-party elections: After a decade, Nawaz takes formal charge again)

“After the demise of Benazir Bhutto, it was not in PPP’s interest to remove that clause,” said Gilani, revealing for the first time some of the details of the political deal-making that went into crafting the amendment that overhauled nearly two-fifths of the constitution.

“The three smaller provinces would have preferred more provincial autonomy to the removal of this clause,” said Gilani. “Sharif should remember that the PPP put the interest of one person [him] over that of 180 million Pakistanis. It is now up to the people to decide whether or not they want to elect him.”

Gilani has normally been the peacemaker in the PPP administration, a role that suits his personality and made easier by his family’s close personal ties with the Sharifs. He has normally refrained from criticising the Sharifs openly or by name, but seemed unable to contain himself on Sunday, repeatedly diverging from the written text of his speech (which was about the freedom of the press) and lashing out at his principal political opponents.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 17th, 2011.

COMMENTS (10)

bashir | 10 years ago | Reply What does he mean by saying 'wait your turn '. Do they have some secret deal to rule this poor country 'baari baari' For Gods sake have pity on this country. Leave us alone.
Aftb Kenneth Wilson | 10 years ago | Reply

@Realist.: Totally unqualified observations. The main problem with PML-N leadership is of non-existence of democratic mindset. I hope you remember his pleadings for 10 years SA in writing. His very close association with outdated mindsets whom no one recognizes on international level. All political personalities are tainted with corruptions and malpractices and so are our main institutions. In given circumstances NS should wait and must not try to behave like the way he is trying to do. If he is really sincere with the country and growth of democratic responsibilities and norms then he must refrain from creating unnecessary impediments which will only go in the favor of undemocratic forces who are always ready to grab power on one pretext or the other. Even our judiciary cows down as usual and history has proved this. We should be extra careful so that all civilian governments completes their tenure. Right now he is doing all this as said in Punjabi language " Na Khaydaan gay tay na khaydun dewaan gay".

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