World Economic Forum: All stakeholders favour democracy, stresses Gilani

Prime minister says all institutions are working within the ambit of the Constitution.


January 27, 2012

DAVOS: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday rejected any perceptions of clashes between state institutions in the country and reaffirmed that all stakeholders in the country favoured democracy in the country.

Talking to reporters here after an interview with the BBC, Gilani said that since several issues had propped up at the same time, there was a feeling that institutions in the country were clashing with each other. He, however, quelled all rumours by saying that all institutions were working within the ambit of the Constitution.

Talking about his meeting with Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and Director General ISI Lt General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, prior to his departure for the World Economic Forum, Gilani said the meeting focused on security matters related to Afghanistan and was also attended by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar.

The prime minister said civil society, the intelligentsia, the media, the parliamentarians, they all want democracy in the country.

“Nobody is in favour of something other than democracy. Democracy is strong and will stay intact and no one has a desire to violate the Constitution.”

Responding to a question about Mansoor Ijaz’s refusal to visit Pakistan, Gilani said he was summoned by the court, and he was not in a position to offer any comments on the matter as the issue was sub judice.

The prime minister also spoke about Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s chairman Imran Khan, saying that the former cricketer never participated in general elections, never succeeded in by-elections and it seemed that the party line was to boycott the upcoming election.

Pak-Swiss trade

Meanwhile, the prime minister also called for institutional support to enhance bilateral trade ties between Pakistan and Switzerland.

Talking to the President of the Swiss Confederation, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, the prime minister said Pakistan provided lucrative investment opportunities and there was a need to encourage business to business contacts between the private sectors of the two countries.

The prime minister, who was accompanied by Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Minister for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, said ties between the two countries have strengthened through regular exchanges.

He said the annual summit of World Economic Forum was playing a key role in creating a greater understanding of the issues of global importance and also in promoting closer ties.

Gilani said that Pakistan would appreciate it if the Swiss government reinstates it in the list of “priority countries” of the Swiss Agency for Development Cooperation, which has so far provided an assistance of US$8.5 million. He was also appreciative of the Swiss “Hindukush Program,” for both Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Citing climate changes a “real danger,” Prime Minister Gilani called for a global approach for responding to climate risks as developing countries were vulnerable and unable to cope on their own with natural calamities that caused massive losses of lives and property.

Participating in an interactive session on “Adapting to Climate Risk” that focused on how the communities, companies and countries were adapting to the risks presented by climate change, here at the annual 2012 World Economic Forum, Gilani told the participants, “We strongly feel that the world must come together with renewed vigour.”

Gilani also stressed the need to take effective measures to enhance bilateral trade ties with Azerbaijan by increasing communication linkages and eliminating travel restrictions.

Talking to the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, Gilani said two-way trade between the two countries was only US$11.55m that was far below their potential. 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2012.

COMMENTS (10)

Mirza | 9 years ago | Reply

Friends of democratic Pakistan, we love you!

Noor | 9 years ago | Reply

How can Democracy work in our country, when it is declared that it can't work properly anywhere.

Check it http://interestingabouteverything.wordpress.com/2011/10/01/is-democracy-a-solution/#comment-2

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