PM hints at polls after budget

Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has said that early elections are likely after budget.Talking to the media at PM house, he said that all the political parties would be taken into confidence on 20th Amendment.

He said that the government has not talked about extension in the tenure of DG ISI.Punjab government is an obstacle in the formation of Drug Regulatory Authority, he said.

He said that three provinces are in agreement on constitution of said authority. Only Punjab is showing hesitation in this regard.

He said that Pak-US relations would be decided in parliament. It is not age of a dictator who agreed on giving everything to US.

Prime Minister said the Leader of the Opposition was giving statements according to his role by saying that the opposition will not talk to the government.

The new constitutional amendment will provide legal cover to the actions of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for a certain period after the passage of 18th Amendment.

“In politics, no walls are built but bridges are made,” he said while stressing the need for dialogue between the government and the opposition on all issues.

“We want free, fair and transparent elections,” he said, adding that the smooth transition of government would set a tradition for future. The Prime Minister said timing for the new elections would be worked out with the opposition parties and allies as and when required.

He said President Asif Ali Zardari would address the Parliament according to schedule.

He will become the first President who will be addressing the joint sitting of Parliament for the fifth time, he added.

The Prime Minister pointed out that last year the government had said that the next budget could be presented in May so that legislators get more time to hold debate and discuss issues of their constituencies.

He said the government had written a new history by adopting an independent course in foreign policy.

“We protected national interests in letter and spirit,” he said, adding that now people and the Parliament would decide about the relations with the United States.

Other political leaders are way behind the government as they wanted to stop NATO’s supply lines through musical concerts, he noted.

Gilani said the government took concrete actions and stopped the NATO supplies, got vacated the Shamsi airbase and refused to participate in the Bonn conference.

To a question, he said Punjab was not agreeing to the formation of a new Drug Regulatory Authority while the other three provinces had given their consent.

He said he was deeply saddened over loss of lives in Punjab and did not want to criticise the provincial government as he was the chief executive and face of the Pakistan Government abroad.

The Prime Minister took notice of the matters of Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA).He said the Petroleum Minister should not have given a statement on increase in prices of oil as it was the domain of OGRA.

He directed the Secretary Cabinet Division for ensuring transparent appointment of OGRA Chairman.