Pakistani PM rejects differences between gov't and army

14:35, December 25, 2009      

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Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led government and the Pakistan Army have no differences, and the government would complete its five-year term, local media reported Friday.

Gilani told reporters on Thursday that the army is bound to ensure the implementation of the government's orders and it is a disciplined force, working within the constitutional ambit.

He said relations between the PPP and General Headquarters had struck a cordial note for the first time in history.

Local newspaper The Nation quoted the prime minister as saying that "the army stands by the government, and there is no doubt about it."

Gilani said the army chief Ashfaq Kayani was a proponent of democracy. "We must wipe out the negativity surrounding the army chief's image," he added.

According to local newspaper Daily Times, Gilani denied that the army played a role in the restoration of the judiciary. He also said that the judiciary was not interfering in government affairs, and ruled out differences between Prime Minister's House and the Presidency.

Gilani said he had visited Pakistan's nuclear facilities and also seen the nuclear bomb. He said the National Command and Control Authority and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) were working under his control.

Gilani noted that Pakistan could not afford to go to midterm polls. "We will complete our ... constitutional term," he added. The prime minister also appealed to all political parties to standby the government.

He also vowed to seek the restoration of balance of powers between Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and the parliament.

About the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), which had given Zardari and thousands of other government officials amnesty from prosecution on corruption charges and was nullified by Pakistan's Supreme Court last week, Gilani said he did not defend the ordinance because he knew about the consequences. He said the political system would be damaged if ministers started resigning over mere allegations.

Source: Xinhua
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