PPP gives in to PML-N’s charter of demands

Monday, January 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani has bowed to the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) demands, thus bringing the three-day ‘ultimatum’ issued by the party to an end.

A day before the expiry of the provisional deadline given by the PML-N, Gilani talked to party chief Nawaz Sharif on the telephone, and assured him that he was ready to implement the party’s 10-point charter of demands.

“We are ready to implement the 10-point charter of demand presented by the PML-N. However, those demands, which will not be durable… the PPP will sit with the committee constituted by Nawaz under the chair of Senator Ishaq Dar to convince each other for mutual consensus,” the Daily Times quoted Gilani, as saying, while addressing a hurriedly called press conference at the PM house.

As per the PML-N demand to restructure public sector organisations, the Finance Ministry had been entrusted with the task to reorganise PEPCO, the Pakistan Steel Mills, PIA and the Pakistan Railways, he added.

Gilani said Nawaz had categorically denied the announcement of a 45-day ultimatum for the implementation of his 10-point agenda. “Nawaz expressed his willingness to work with the PPP to bring the country out of the crisis it is currently in,” he added.

However, PML-N Information Secretary Ahsan Iqbal expressed the hope that the government would show progress within 45 days to implement the charter of demands presented by the PML-N chief.

“Rapid progress in the implementation of the agenda will be favourable for both the country and the PPP government itself,” he maintained.

Nawaz had assured the premier that he would not create any problems for the PPP in the Punjab government, said Gilani, adding: “The PML-N will play its role to strengthen democracy in the country as well as provinces for vital national interest.”

He also said the PPP was “fully determined to take measures to assure transparency in accountability, elimination of inflation and load shedding from the country, as well as bringing an improvement in the law and order situation.”

Gilani told the press conference that before calling Nawaz, he had taken President Asif Ali Zardari into confidence, and that all of the political leadership- including Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Fazlur Rehman, Altaf Hussain, Pir Pagara, Munir Khan Orakzai and Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao- had assured him of their complete solidarity and support.

When asked why the opposition parties had started giving negative remarks about him,the premier claimed that Zardari, not him, remained the main cause of the recent political bickering in the country.

“President Zardari remains the main target of opposition parties, not me, but they know it very well that until I am here, no one can destabilise the president,” he said.

To a question about the proposed amendments in Pakistan’s controversial Blasphemy Law, Gilani said: “I assured Fazlur Rehman today that the government has no intention to table any amendment in this regard.”

About the appointment of a new governor in Punjab, he said that consultation was in progress in this regard, and that the “decision would be announced at the end”.

Nawaz had given three days to the PPP-led federal government to give a clear-cut reply on its list of demands, which included the withdrawal of the increase in POL prices, introducing a mechanism to control electricity and gas prices and load-shedding, effective measures to control corruption as well as ousting corrupt ministers and officers from government departments.

The PML-N had also demanded in its charter of demands that the PPP government implement the Supreme Court decisions- including its verdict against the NRO, ensure a 30 percent reduction in the government’s development expenses, reconstitute the Election Commission of Pakistan, recover loans that were written off on political basis, ensure security of the country and strengthen the standing committees of both houses of parliament. (ANI)

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