NA to take up Seraiki province -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

NA to take up Seraiki province

LONDON: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has declared that his government will approach the present assembly for creation of the Seraiki province.

In an interview with BBC on Sunday, Gilani maintained that Seraiki province is desire of the people and it is an important matter which cannot be left for the next parliament.

On Nato’s supply blockage, he said it may continue for several weeks. “Lifting of the blockage would have to wait until a new set of rules of engagement are agreed,” Gilani said, adding that there was a lack of trust between Pakistan and the US, which needed to be resolved. “Yes there is a credibility gap, we are working together and still we don’t trust each other,” Gilani said. “I think we have to improve our relationship so that… we should have more confidence in each other.”

He also refused to rule out closing Pakistan’s airspace to the US. Asked if he still believed the attacks had been deliberate and pre-planned, Gilani replied: “Apparently so.” He said attack of Nato forces was insult to the sacrifices of Pakistan.

The PM said Pakistan is continuing with the policy of 3D – dialogue, development and deterrence, to tackle issue of militancy. He said a peaceful and stable Afghanistan is in the interest of Pakistan.

He said he believed it was for Pakistan, not Nato, to act on ‘any credible or actionable information’ about militant activity. Gilani said the US has vacated the Shamsi Airbase within the time limit given to it. He said now the Shamsi Airbase is under the control of Pakistani forces. Ruling out any talks with Taliban, Gilani said Pakistan would bring it before all if it held any negotiations with the Taliban. On Benazir murder, he said: “I only want to tell you this, if you see that in high-profile cases, it takes time. This matter is sub judice and we should wait for results.”

On the memo issue, he said the people of Pakistan believe in realities instead of rumours and a person who was conspiring in the past should not be believed.

On President Zardari, Gilani denied the president had a stroke, or that he had written a letter of resignation. President Zardari needs two weeks’ rest before returning home, he added. “Why should he write?” asked Gilani. “He has the backing and support of the entire parliament.” He denied the army was trying to push the president out of office. Dismissing speculation about a quiet coup, he said: “Rumours are rumours.”

He said that his government would face and defeat all the cases in courts that were apparently haunting the PPP regime. He refrained from commenting on the memogate scandal but exerted extraordinary confidence about the victory of his party in the legal battle.

Asked would you fight your ally like US as your army chief says the soldiers at borders are equipped to retaliate any attack and also cut off the NATO supply route, the prime minister said “We would not fight our ally but we reserve our right to defence. And we must defend our territorial integrity and national sovereignty. The ally must consider who they were attacking on, and whose soldiers they were killing in that,” the PM pointed out.