Islamabad : Embattled Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Friday said that he does not need vote of confidence and asked parliament to decide whether there would be democracy or dictatorship.
Gilani was speaking at the National Assembly amid a lingering stand-off between the political leadership and the military.
The prime minister said they are not against any institution, a reference to the army which had spoken of “serious ramifications” after Gilani accused army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and ISI chief Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha of violating the constitution.
Gilani said the constitution must be respected by everyone and added they did not come in the National Assembly to get support on the National Reconciliation Ordinance.
In 2009, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) withdrew the cases against President Asif Ali Zardari under the National Reconciliation Ordinance of 2007. The ordinance was issued by then president Parvez Musharraf, facilitating former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband Zardari to return to Pakistan. But, in December 2009, the Supreme Court struck down the ordinance, declaring it void.
Gilani said they also did not come in parliament to get support against any institution.
Parliament has to decide whether there would be democracy or dictatorship, the prime minister said, Geo News reported.
Since its independence in 1947, Pakistan has had four spells of military rule — headed by Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Gen.Yahya Khan, Gen.Zia ul-Haq and Gen.Pervez Musharraf.
Gilani said: “If we’re out, you’re out, everyone is out (of government).”
“We are politicians; if we don’t make mistakes, who will?” he asked.
But democracy should not suffer for our mistakes, the prime minister added.
Gilani Wednesday asserted his authority by dismissing defence secretary Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a retired lieutenant general widely seen to be close to army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.