PPP, allies stand behind premier
ISLAMABAD: At a meeting held at the Presidency, the Pakistan People’s Party and its coalition partners extended full support to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani who will appear in the Supreme Court on Monday for framing of charges in the contempt of court case.
Sources told this correspondent that the heads of allied parties would either attend the proceedings in the court or would remain outside to demonstrate solidarity with the prime minister.
Presidency’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said the meeting presided over by PPP Co-chairman President Asif Zardari also discussed the political situation and forthcoming Senate elections.
A source in PML-Q said some leaders of the party had advised Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain against going to the Supreme Court but he decided to accompany the prime minister.
Besides Chaudhry Shujaat, ANP President Asfandyar Khan Wali, MQM’s parliamentary party leader Dr Farooq Sattar and Munir Khan Aurakzai from the Federally Administered Tribal Area and PPP leaders Syed Khurshid Shah, Naveed Qamar, Nayyar Bokhari and Raja Pervez Ashraf attended the meeting.
PPP leader Fauzia Wahab, who is an adviser to President Zardari, said the PPP, parliament and coalition partners stood behind the prime minister. She said she would like to know why any military leader had never been called by the court.
She said the Constitution provided immunity to the president. “Article 248 which provides immunity to the president and there is no ambiguity about it,” she said.
Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood said the president enjoyed immunity, but the government in its reply in the contempt of case ‘intentionally’ did not raise the issue of Article 248 of the Constitution.
SECURITY PLAN: It is learnt that a large number of PPP workers would turn up outside the apex court building and the Islamabad District Bar Association has given a call to lawyers to be there to express support for the judiciary.
In view of the possibility of a clash, a special security plan has been prepared for ‘Red Zone’.
Meanwhile, Bakhtawar, eldest daughter of President Zardari, tweeted on Sunday that people argued over immunity, forgetting that her father had spent 11 and a half years in prison without a single conviction.
Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, who is in London, said jails did not scare them. “PPP is not a party of cowards. We are a party of fighters, martyrs because we believe in a democratic Pakistan.”
She also tweeted an emotional slogan in favour of Prime Minister Gilani: “Meri Raza Teri Raza, Yousuf Raza Yousuf Raza”.