Bonn boycott, Shamsi base demand not ‘confrontation’: PM

Gilani says the govt is only fulfilling its responsibilities by taking such decisions.

Shahbaz Rana December 03, 2011


Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan’s decision to boycott Bonn Conference and have the Shamsi base evacuated should not be seen as “confrontation”.

“The government is fulfilling its responsibilities [by taking these decisions],” the PM told reporters on Friday, at the sidelines of a two-day international conference organised by the Competition Commission of Pakistan.

However, Gilani evaded answering a question on the US decision to attach more strings with military assistance to Pakistan. The US Congress has linked military assistance with Pakistan’s “sincerity” towards the fight against militancy.

Joining the chorus of Pakistan Peoples Party’s senior leadership, he said that the government has foiled several attempts to dislodge it. “It was the strength of parliamentary democracy that even a single attempt wasn’t successful,” he said.

The PM did not explain what sort of threats the government was facing at this juncture but cautiously pointed a finger at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, saying: “some elements are running away from the upcoming Senate elections.”

In March 2012, 50 senators will retire after completing their six-year-long constitutional term. The four provincial assemblies and the National Assembly will elect new senators on the basis of proportionate strength of political parties. Analysts predict the PPP and its allies will have a comfortable majority in the upper house after the elections which can create problems for any new government.

Earlier, delivering his written speech at the conference, he said that people’s expectations from the democratic government were understandable and justified. “However, for two years in a row, floods and the energy and security situation have slowed down our economic growth,” he said.

Nonetheless, Gilani said, due to timely intervention by the government, the country has been able to build strong economic fundamentals. “The government should not be seen as the sole driver of economic growth and providing jobs to people,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2011.


Ralph | 11 years ago | Reply

Pakistan again lost the chance to stabalize good international relationships. Germany likes the Pakistan people and want to have peace at all borders and it is strongly recommended that all stand together against terorism.

Grace | 11 years ago | Reply

@Raj: The money that Pakistan has received is nothing compared to the hardship and suffering the nation has endured- whether defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan or dealing with the war and instability that was caused by others. The amount of money given to Pakistan is next to nothing. Most Pakistanis would prefer to say no and worry about our own country than deal with the so called aid which is of no care to your average Pakistani. We just want to close the border to Afghanistan and stop the intrusion of criminals from there who are on the payroll of Indian agencies.

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