ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) said Monday it would boycott a banquet being hosted by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani for his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The party has said that the boycott is a protest against Gilani's conviction for contempt.
"No one (from the party) is going to the dinner, because we do not recognise him as prime minister," PML-N media coordinator Asim Niazi told AFP.
Erdogan flew into Islamabad on Sunday for a three-day official visit. He is due to address a joint session of parliament before the banquet later Monday.
Senior PML-N leaders said, however, that the party would set domestic politics aside to attend the parliamentary session, because "Erdogan is our honoured guest".
On April 26, Gilani became Pakistan's first sitting prime minister to be convicted in court, for refusing to ask the Swiss authorities to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari.
Gilani had refused on the grounds that the head of state enjoys immunity.
The PML-N has demanded that Gilani resign, saying the conviction disqualifies him from office and has called for early elections, not due before February 2013.
The Swiss shelved the cases in 2008 when Zardari became president and a prosecutor in Switzerland has said it will be impossible to re-open them as long as he remains head of state. Gilani has vowed to appeal his conviction.