Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani cautioned main opposition PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif that raking up allegations of corruption against the PPP-led government would only strengthen the hands of dictators and the “third force”.
“I want to tell Nawaz Sharif that raking up allegations will not give you a chance. It will only give an opportunity to a third force. We should show political maturity,” Gilani said.
Every elected government in the past was removed on charges of corruption and this allowed dictators to come to power,he said.
“People without ideology are criticising the Pakistan People’s Party and PML-N to create an atmosphere for the third force,” he said.
Gilani did not identify the “third force” though his remarks appeared to be a veiled reference to the military,which has ruled Pakistan for more than half its history.
Gilani’s remarks came against the backdrop of tensions between the civilian government and the powerful military over the alleged memo that had sought US help to prevent a military takeover in Pakistan.
The Supreme Court last week set up a judicial commission to probe what is being described as the “Memogate” scandal.
The premier said opposition parties should approach courts if they have proof of corruption in the government.
He linked attacks on his government to fears among political “have nots” of the ruling PPP securing a majority in upcoming elections to the Senate or upper house of parliament.
The Senate polls will be held as scheduled in March and if they were stopped through undemocratic means,it would have a negative effect on the country,Gilani said during the programme “PM Online” a monthly live television show in which the premier answers questions from the public.
He contended that all political activities were linked to the Senate elections and conspiracies were being hatched to stop them.
Asked about the government’s perceived differences with the judiciary over the Memogate scandal,Gilani said Pakistan’s democracy was passing through an evolutionary phase that could result in some discomfort in the balance of power between the legislative,executive and judiciary.
“If we follow the constitution and trichotomy (of power),I don’t feel any threat from anywhere,” he said.
Responding to a question about the government holding talks with the Taliban,Gilani said this could happen only if the rebels gave up violence.
“If the militants denounce terrorism,what objection is there (to holding talks with them)?” he asked.
He noted that his government’s policy for tackling militancy comprised development,dialogue and deterrence.
Asked about Pakistan’s troubled relations with the US,Gilani said new terms of engagement were needed for the ties between Islamabad and Washington as his government wanted to take the public along with it in the wake of a string of crises.
“True friendship starts after a quarrel. They (the US) have to address fundamental problems,” he said.