Gilani Says, No One Toppling Civilian Govt In Pakistan

Islamabad, Dec 2 : Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday  ruled out the threat of either a “judicial” or a “military” coup in Pakistan as both state institutions were pro-democracy and did not want
gilani says no one toppling civilian govt in...
India TV News Desk 02 Dec 2011, 8:49:49 AM IST

Islamabad, Dec 2 : Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Thursday  ruled out the threat of either a “judicial” or a “military” coup in Pakistan as both state institutions were pro-democracy and did not want to derail the system. 

Gilani made the remarks while participating in the programme “Prime Minister Online” on state-run PTV tonight. 

He was responding to questions related to possible strains between the Pakistan People's Party-led civilian government on one side and the judiciary and military on the other. 

He contended that the government, military and the Inter-Services Intelligence agency were on the same page on the issue of the controversial secret memorandum sent to the US military in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. 

There will be a joint reply from the government and army to the Supreme Court on the memo issue, he said. 

The apex court today ordered the formation of a commission to investigate the “Memogate” controversy and sought responses on the issue within 15 days from the President, army chief and ISI chief.

The memo, made public by Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz, states that the government sought help from the US to prevent a military coup in May.

In response to a question, Gilani said Pakistan's decision to boycott the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan to protest a NATO attack that killed 24 soldiers was final and taken collectively.

“How we can attend the Conference when our sovereignty was attacked?” he said.

Afghanistan's soil was used against Pakistan's sovereignty and integrity, and under such circumstances, Islamabad had to focus on its own security, he said.

Pakistan closed all NATO supply routes and asked the US to vacate Shamsi airbase, reportedly used by CIA-operated drones in the wake of Saturday's attack by NATO aircraft.

 “If we sit in the Bonn Conference and another attack takes place, who will be responsible for that?” Gilani asked.  He denied that the government was considering a proposal to send Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to the Bonn Conference.

At the same time, Gilani said Pakistan's actions should not be seen as a withdrawal from the war on terrorism.  “Terrorism is against our own country and this is our own war,” he said.

Pakistan can continue working with the US, NATO and International Security Assistance Force after formulating new rules of engagement under a new agreement, he added. 

Gilani said he had asked the Parliamentary Committee on National Security to give recommendations on future ties with the US and NATO.

He said he would attend a meeting of the parliamentary panel tomorrow and brief its members on the NATO attack and other issues.

Asked about the possibility of holding a dialogue with the Taliban, he said the militants should first decommission themselves and denounce violence and the government could then talk to them to bring them into the mainstream.

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