Former premier Yousaf Raza Gilani considers himself a ‘winner’ despite his disqualification from office by the Supreme Court since, according to him, his stance had been endorsed by parliament.
Talking to reporters after he reached Lahore on Thursday, Gilani said his first wish was to see the current National Assembly complete its constitutional term. His second wish, he added, was to quit the office gracefully.
“Prime ministers come and go, but this is the first time in history that an outgoing prime minister participated in the ceremony for an incoming prime minister,” he said. The ousted premier maintained a “new Gilani exists in the PM House in the form of Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.” Gilani further said that his party (PPP) had given him the honorary title of prime minister for life.
His third wish, he said, was to establish the supremacy of parliament. Gilani said he wanted to be disqualified through the NA Speaker’s office or through the parliament, but was instead ousted by extra-parliamentary forces. But since the Speaker and the parliament endorsed his stance, he considers himself the winner. Gilani added that by endorsing his stance, both the parliament and the Speaker had maintained the respect of Pakistan’s 180 million people.
In case he had been disqualified through either the Speaker or the parliament, Gilani claimed he would have quit politics, adding that in his 31-year career as a parliamentarian he always stood for the supremacy of parliament and the democratic set-up. Talking about his party’s role, he said the PPP could never imagine going against the constitution since the party gave it to the people of Pakistan in the first place.
Gilani also expressed a fourth wish; fair and transparent general elections in Pakistan. Hoping for its fulfillment, he said the people should elect whoever should assume the prime minister’s office.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 29th, 2012.