PM rules out dialogue with terrorists
LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Sunday ruled out any dialogue with terrorists, saying the war against anti-state elements had entered its final phase and the military operation would be completed soon.
The prime minister said this while talking to media persons during his visit to the Jamia Naeemia to offer condolences to Raghib Naeemi over the killing of his father, Mufti Sarfaraz Naeemi.
Minister for Social Welfare Samina Khalid Ghurki, Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz Ahmed, IT Minister Farooq Yousaf Ghurki, MPA Qasim Zia and PPP Lahore President Chaudhry M Asghar accompanied the prime minister.
Responding to a question about the possibility of dialogue with the Taliban as suggested by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, the prime minister said all those conspiring against Pakistan were terrorists and it was not the time for negotiations with them.
As for Fazl’s suggestion, Gilani said he was a coalition partner whom he held in great esteem. He said Fazl had his own views. The prime minister said the people of Fata and the NWFP were patriots, who had always supported Pakistan and the Quaid-i-Azam.
He said Army officers and Jawans were rendering sacrifices in the operation, which was not a conventional war against the terrorists, who were weakening the country and working on a foreign agenda.
About the demand of division of provinces, Gilani said that it was a constitutional matter and the people could raise the issue through parliament. Answering another question about the Taunsa-Panjnad issue and the demand of changing the current Indus River System Authority (Irsa), he reiterated that all the provinces, including the Punjab, would get their water share under the water accord reached in 1991.
About scrapping the 17th Amendment, the prime minister said it was the commitment of their martyred leader Benazir Bhutto and was laid down in the Charter of Democracy (CoD), signed by Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif. He said President Asif Ali Zardari had also expressed the resolve to implement the CoD in his address to parliament and the issue would be resolved.
He said the committee set up by parliament for reforms in the Constitution had representation from all the political parties. Responding to a query about the killing of Mufti Naeemi, the prime minister said his death was a tragic blow to all of them. He said he had already announced a civil award for Mufti Naeemi, who sacrificed his life in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
Earlier, the prime minister held a meeting with Ulema, including MNA Sahibzada Fazl Karim and Raghib Naeemi. APP adds: Gilani said all anti-Pakistan elements were terrorists, who had no religion, belief or geographic boundaries.
He said the nation wanted peace by eliminating terrorists once and for all. He paid tribute to Army Jawans and civilians martyred during the military offensive against the militants.
Our correspondent adds: The prime minister also visited Mansoora to condole the death of former JI Ameer Mian Tufail Muhammad with the JI leadership and the family of the deceased.
Talking to media persons on the occasion, the prime minister said Kashmir was the cornerstone of the diplomatic policy of the government. It would hold key significance in the revival of the Indo-Pak peace talks, as no minus-Kashmir solution could prove long-lasting, he said.
The prime minister said Pakistan wished and strived for friendly relations with all the neighbouring countries and desired an amiable environment in South Asia. Condoling with JI leaders Liaqat Baloch and Qazi Hussain Ahmed, he expressed grief over the death of Mian Tufail.
The prime minister lauded his services as a religious and political leader. He said Mian Tufail’s services during the pre-partition, his struggle for the Muslims of India and contribution for the country were indicative of his vision and good spirit for the nation and the country.
Responding to a question that why was the JI not taken onboard before launching the military operation, he said the JI and all other political parties were part of the approval of the Nizam-e-Adl-Regulation, which the government enforced through the power of parliament in spite of tremendous foreign pressure. But once the regulation was violated and the writ of the government challenged, there was a need for an immediate combat action, he added.
He said although the military strategy of the operation demanded an element of surprise, but the government called the All Parties Conference, including those parties who were not part of parliament, and they all agreed that the country’s sovereignty could not be compromised at the hands of a handful of miscreants.
He said the JI’s ‘Go America go’ rally in Karachi, led by Munawwar Hassan, was a statement in itself that Pakistan was a true democratic state where everyone had the right to voice his opinion.
He said the government promoted constructive dialogue and freedom of speech, which would provide a broader base for the empowerment of people and democracy.
The prime minister termed drone attacks a breach of the sovereignty of Pakistan. He said he and the PPP government had been communicating to the US that these attacks were counterproductive.
He, however, said that somehow, the Americans had not been able to recognise this fact, which they would have to think sooner. Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz, PPP Punjab leader Qasim Zia, Khalid Kharal and Azizur Rehman Chan were also present on the occasion.
Source: The News