ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said the government, its allies and opposition parties in the parliament have agreed to pursue a common national agenda to overcome economic and political challenges.Addressing a press conference here on Sunday at Prime Minister House, the Prime Minister told that he talked to PML(N) Chief Nawaz Sharif on phone to convey his desire to work together.Nawaz Sharif expressed his readiness to form a PML-N committee headed by Senator Ishaq Dar to reach a consensus with government for implementing a 10 point agenda.The Prime Minister clarified that Nawaz Sharif did not give any ultimatum for implementation of agenda unveiled at a press conference a few days back.Gilani said he considered the proposals of PML-N a golden opportunity through which the political parties can work together to resolve multifarious issues of law and order and economy.
Before responding to the proposals of Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister in the evening telephoned President Asif Ali Zardari, PML-Q President Ch. Shujaat Hussain, MMQ Chief Altaf Hussain, PML leader Pir Pagaro, JUI-F chief Malauna Fazlur Rehman, Aftab Sherpao and leader from FATA Munir Orakzai, who extended their support to his political initiative.The Prime Minister said he had full backing of PPP for his parleys with the political leadership.He said Nawaz Sharif told him that a deadline would not be an issue if PML-N saw progress on the issues raised by it.The PML-N chief also assured of his party’s support to the PPP government at the centre and provinces saying PML-N would not want to disturb the government.Gilani categorically stated that the government would not introduce any amendment in the parliament to change blasphemy laws.The Prime Minister said the government would continue its policy of political reconciliation with the help of which in the past the parliament unanimously passed 18th and 19th amendments and NFC award was approved.The Prime Minister informed that in the first phase Steel Mills, Railways and PEPCO will be restructured to stem losses to the national economy.
The Prime Minister said the issues of immediate concern raised by PML-N would be implemented on priority while other issues will be worked on in the long term.Emphasizing the need for political and economic stability, he said PPP never resorted to blackmail PML-N government in Punjab and voted with it in the provincial assembly.He reminded that political parties sacrificed for democracy and now the national agenda could not be jeopardized just for the sake of ego.It is job of the parties in opposition to criticize the government actions and the government will continue to engage them in talks for the cause of democracy, he added.Gilani said during his time in office he approved 10,000 files and only four to five cases came under criticism and those were also reviewed by him.The federal secretaries were appointed through Central Selection Board and favours were not made on basis of personal liking, he added.To a question, he said mere allegations were raised against his children and courts could be approached with evidence on them.Responding to a question about cases of corruption against ministers, he said some matters are before the courts to decide.The Prime Minister said only one case out of 8034 cases under NRO was raised which showed bias and he was criticised with the aim to eventually target the President.
He expressed his resolve to work with MQM, ANP and other parties to keep stable the situation of law and order in Karachi, a hub of the country’s economy.Gilani said investigation into the assassination of late Governor Salman Taseer was a sensitive issue and it should not be politicized and report on it will be made public at the completion of probe.He said as compared to past it was more challenging to run the government in presence of a parliament of 442 members, an independent judiciary, opposition led Public Accounts Committee and a strong media.The Prime Minister said the political leadership would evolve a strategy to plug the gap in revenue of Rs. five to six billion every month, which has been generated from petroleum products.The government temporarily revised its decision to raise price of petroleum products in consultation with parliamentary party leaders, he added.He said the issue of abolition of Education Minister in centre will be brought before the Council of Common Interests (CCI).The Prime Minister observed that the establishment was pro-democracy and PPP for the first time was on the right side of establishment.The Prime Minister pledged to take measures to mitigate price hike and better manage provision of electricity and gas to consumers – APP