ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Friday asked all the beneficiaries of the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) holding official posts to resign voluntarily from their posts. Speaking in the Senate, the prime minister said that he has directed the Law Ministry and Attorney General to scrutinize the list of NRO beneficiaries.
He said parliament is a sovereign body and the president is also its part therefore it should also be given due respect under the constitution like other institutions. He said the government will give respect to the other institutions provided that other state institutions give respect it and the Parliament. He said respect of the institutions does not mean only the respect of the Supreme Court but all institutions including parliament.
Referring letter to Swiss authorities for reopening cases against president, he said ” president is integral part of the parliament and supreme commander of the armed forces besides symbol of federation so how can cases be reopened against him while he also enjoys immunity under Article 248 of the constitution.”
He said half of his tenure has been completed and if it is necessary to reopen cases against him then we should wait for next two-and-half years and reopen cases after expiry of immunity given to him under the constitution. He said however, the parliament is authorized to withdraw the immunity given to the president under the constitution. Prime Minister Gilani said that the politicians played vital role in making of Pakistan but unfortunately that instead of criticising those who run Pakistan for ten year; only politicians had been criticized.
The prime minister referring the promotions of bureaucrats in 22 grade said the verdict of the Supreme Court has been implemented in letter and spirit. He said there were no rules regarding promotion of government officers from BPS 21 to 22 and it was discretion of the chief executive of the country to promote them. However, he said on the direction of the Supreme Court he asked the Establishment Division to frame rules for their promotion and he implemented all recommendations made by the selection board for their promotions.
Gilani expressing concern over the punishment of Dr Aafia Siddiqui said the government is making serious efforts for her release and return to Pakistan. He said Dr Aafia was arrested in 2003 and the government at that time never clarified from where she was arrested. However, he said the present government made all out efforts for her release and provided twenty million dollars for her legal assistance. The prime minister said that he has asked the interior minister to initiate negotiations with the United States for her release and bring back to Pakistan. He said the government used all legal channels for her release and now will also utilise political channel for her release. NNI