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Only Parliament Can Withdraw President’s Immunity

Latest Pakistan News / Islamabad News – Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Wednesday that the immunity to President Asif Ali Zardari has been given by the Parliament and only this institution has the right to withdraw it.


 Firdous Ashiq Awan

Speaking to media representatives after the Federal Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, she said that prime minister’s legal team has been preparing reply on the direction to write letter to Swiss Courts and he has already shared his views on the issue with the media in Lahore.

The minister said that the prime minister will act as per rules and regulations and he will never violate the Constitution on the issue.

To a question, she said that in the democratic process, cabinets are reshuffled and it is the prerogative of the prime minister to reshuffle his team whenever he considers it right. However, she said that in the cabinet meeting no consultation was held on this issue.

To a query, she said that the government in its fifth budget this May will try to provide maximum relief to the common man.

The minister said that successful completion of Senate elections was great achievement of the present democratic set up and the fifth presidential address to the Joint Sitting of the Parliament on coming Saturday will also be a milestone.

To a question about prices of daily-use items and utilities prices she said that the people’s government was utilizing national resources to provide relief to the people of Pakistan. However she said that when prices of petroleum products increase in the international market the government has to pass on the burden to the consumers.

She said if the government caps the prices of petroleum products, it will result in huge circular debt, and provision of subsidy will result in inflation which will add to peoples financial problems.

Dr Firdous said that Consumer Price Index is discussed in every meeting as the government wants to control prices of daily use items. The federal government wants to provide relief to the masses and the prime minister has issued directions to the Finance Ministry in this regard but increase in daily use commodities at international level also affects Pakistan.

The minister said that PPP leadership has been following the policy of reconciliation and it does not respond to opposition’s allegations. She said that there are several reports of corruption in the Punjab but the PPP does not believe in politics of victimization and history will judge the performance of all governments.

About mehrangate scandal, she said that the PPP was waiting for the superior judiciary’s verdict on the issue as names of several so-called clean politicians are surfacing in the scandal.

She said Punjab government must promote the concept of good governance in the province, setting a role model for other provinces to follow.

The Minister criticised the several projects of the Punjab government like Sasti Roti, factors behind construction of overhead bridges and distribution of laptops.

About Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, she said that the issue did not figure in the Cabinet meeting, but its timely completion was government’s top priority and it can divert funds from some other projects to ensure its early completion.

About the next general elections, she said that it was the prerogative of the PPP top leadership and the prime minister to chalk out a strategy in this regard and make a final decision.

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