ISLAMABAD: Rejecting any foreign pressure on the bilateral cooperation between Pakistan and Iran including energy sector, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani on Thursday said Pakistan being a sovereign state would do whatever was in its own interest.
"We are a sovereign country and we will do whatever is in the interest of Pakistan," Gilani said while responding to a question during "Prime Minister Online" programme, jointly hosted by PTV and Waqt News.
He said Pakistan and Iran have bilateral relations and cooperation in diverse fields including energy, gas pipeline, electricity etc.
To another question, the Prime Minister admitted that there have been ups and downs in Pakistan-US relations of late, adding, that Pakistan still desired an expansion of ties with the United States on mutual interest and mutual respect basis.
He said Pakistan and United States share the common goal of success in the war against terrorism.
Gilani, however added, the United States should refrain from interfering in Pakistan's internal affairs, so that there is confidence building and the masses in Pakistan do not have any ill feeling towards the US.
Demands of Balochistan to be fulfilled, but within ambit of Constitution
With the situation in Balochistan growing to impalpable levels, Gilani had earlier in the month called for an All Parties Conference (APC) to resolve the issue. On being asked about the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif's demanded for an APC, Gilani said that when he wanted to hold an APC, Nawaz Sharif said that the PML-N would only participate in the conference if some of his party's conditions were met.
The APC on Balochistan is not his personal matter, he reiterated, but an issue of the whole country. The Prime Minster added that he had been talking to all stakeholders and when they would be taken on board, then the forum would decide to remove genuine grievances of the people of Balochistan, who are as patriotic as others Pakistani are.
Addressing those who were calling for independence of Balochistan, Gilani said, all demands regarding Balochistan would be addressed but within the ambit of the constitution.
Prime Minister Gilani made light of a resolution presented by a Congressman in the US House of Representatives. It should not be taken seriously, he said, adding the move should not be bracketed with United States policy towards Pakistan.
No danger to democracy
Prime Minister Gilani in response to a question said neither there never was any danger to democracy or the democratic government in the past nor did it exist today.
Rather, he said democracy was getting stronger in the country and those who were talking of such dangers (to democracy) would be regretful.
When asked about an earlier statement of his that the political situation would improve after the Senate elections in March, Prime Minister Gilani said, "as spring sets in the month of March, everything brightens". Democracy is prospering and has a bright future.”
About Memo case, the Prime Minister said he has been saying from the day one that the man (Ijaz Mansoor), who wrote the article has no credibility, as he has a history of writing against Pakistan's establishment, the ISI and the Governments, adding, that a person with no credibility should not be given importance.
"It (the article) is a piece of paper. We should not waste our precious time on it," he remarked.
To a question about the contempt of court case against him, the Prime Minister said he has appeared before the Supreme Court twice and was ready to appear whenever next he would be summoned by the court.
Gilani said the government strengthened the country's institutions by restoring the 1973 Constitution. "If we will not respect the institutions, then who will do it," he remarked