Democracy or dictatorship?: Resolute Gilani paves way for govt resolution
By Qamar Zaman / Zia Khan
ISLAMABAD: Steady nerves and a pointed address.
The premier remained composed on Friday, despite a raring opposition and potentially wavering allies in the face of a deepening row with the military and the judiciary – and the government also managed to introduce a highly-anticipated resolution in the house.
The resolution was moved, symbolically enough, by the PPP’s thus far most steadfast ally, Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan, amid a protest from opposition benches.
Before the resolution, addressing a special session of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said he would prefer going to the people over begging for the opposition’s support for a fresh vote of confidence in parliament.
“I do not need a vote of confidence,” Gilani said, adding that he was elected prime minister unanimously.
The session, it was widely believed, had been convened in the wake of the Supreme Court warning President Asif Ali Zardari and the prime minister of disqualification over the non-implementation of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) verdict.
But the prime minister snubbed the notion that his government was afraid of the NRO at the get-go.
“We have not come for the NRO. We do not need your support to be saved from the military and have not come for a clash of institutions. We have also not come to be shaheeds (martyrs),” the premier said, responding to the leader of the opposition’s query seeking a justification for the ‘emergency session.’
“Somebody should tell us the reason for convening this session and what you are afraid of,” the leader of the opposition, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, had said earlier.
“We have to decide whether there should be democracy or dictatorship in the country … democracy should not be punished for our mistakes”. ….
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