PIR JO GOTH: The embattled premier while refusing to give any statement regarding the contempt charges framed against him said, “either I will be martyred or return as a victor.”
While speaking to journalists in Pir Jo Goth on Sunday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said metaphorically, “Those who embrace martyrdom are lucky, and as for now, I don’t know what will happen.”
“Only my lawyer can answer this” was Gilani’s recurring statement when journalists asked him about his stance on the contempt case.
‘MFN is a misunderstood abbreviation’
The prime minister said that people misunderstand the abbreviation of Most Favoured Nation (MFN) as “most favourite nation.”
He said that the status of MFN to India was granted by Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the time of the inception of Pakistan.
“Granting a country MFN status does not mean that that country becomes the most favourite country,” said Gilani. “National interest should be supreme. Look at China, despite its disputes with India, the current trade between the two countries stand at Rs100 billion.”
“By MFN we mean that the cabinet gives permission to the ministry of commerce to hold talks with its Indian counterpart in order to strike a trade balance,” he said. He added that during his premiership, trade worth Rs15 billion was conducted with India.
The prime minister said that three days back, he had announced the summoning of an All Pakistan Conference (APC) in order to discuss the United States’ Congressional session on Balochistan.
“I have come to Sindh and met with the provincial chief minister here,” he said. “Negotiations with the leadership should be done and then we will summon the APC in order to devise a solution based on collective wisdom.”
‘Will support Afghan-led negotiations with Taliban’
Speaking about the Pakistan-held trilateral summit on regional security, the premier said that the issue of holding negotiations will be an Afghanistan’s initiative and Pakistan will only facilitate the talks.
“I had a detailed discussion with the Afghan President Hamid Karzai about this and I assured him that Pakistan is ready to support negotiations that are Afghan-led.