Gilani rules out ‘viceroy security’

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza GilaniLAHORE: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that American businessman Mansoor Ijaz has been spitting venom against Pakistan, its establishment and governments for a long time.

Mr Ijaz “does not deserve the protocol being sought for him because that will require billions of rupees,” he said while talking to reporters after offering condolences to the family of the world’s youngest IT professional, late Arfa Karim Randhawa, here on Sunday.The prime minister said providing a security cover at a cost of billions of rupees to the accuser in the memo case during his appearance before an investigation commission would be against the Constitution and law.

He said the security and protocol for Mr Ijaz was being highlighted as if a viceroy or a person more important than the US president was coming to Pakistan.“The interior ministry, in accordance with the rules of business, will provide security to Mansoor Ijaz and, if required, may call the army or Rangers for assistance to the civil government,” he said.Mr Ijaz has been summoned by the judicial commission as well as the Parliamentary Committee on National Security.“I have to assist both. Fairness demands that he should appear before the judicial commission as well as the parliamentary committee.”

The premier said he had referred the case to the parliamentary committee after consultations with the president, the army chief and the director general of Inter-Services Intelligence, but PML-N chief Mian Nawaz Sharif took the matter to the Supreme Court.He said the memo issue would not pose any threat to the country because Mr Ijaz did not enjoy any credibility.The prime minister declined to comment on his own appearance before the Supreme Court in a contempt case, saying the matter was sub judice.

He denied reports that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan had opposed inclusion of PPP leader Babar Awan into the cabinet or had set any condition for becoming his counsel.He said Nato supplies had been cut off in national interest and recommendations of the Parliamentary Committee on National Security about re-engagement with the US would be presented before parliament.The prime minister said the Pakistan people’s Party wanted to contest the next elections in alliance with its coalition partners.When asked about Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s remarks that the Sindh and federal governments had failed to maintain law and order in the province, he said thank God the remarks had not been made against the Punjab government. – Dawn