ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Tuesday that renewed Afghan efforts to make peace with the Taliban and end the nine-year war would fail without Pakistan’s help.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai said this week he had renewed overtures to the militants, confirming in an interview that his government had been holding talks with the Taliban “for quite some time”.
Mr Gilani told reporters after addressing a ceremony of the Benazir Income Support Programme’s Waseela-i-Rozgar scheme in Charsadda that Pakistan had an essential role to play if there was to be any prospect of peace.
“Nothing will happen without us, because we are a part of the solution, we are not a part of the problem,” he said.
On Sunday, former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani was elected chairman of a new peace council set up to broker an end to the war with the Taliban.
Mr Gilani refused to be drawn on whether Pakistan backed the Afghan plan.
“When Mr Karzai shares his roadmap with America and they share the roadmap with us, then we will be in a position to comment on it.”
NAB CHIEF’S ISSUE
The prime minister said the appointment of NAB (National Accountability Bureau) chairman was not a constitutional issue requiring consultation with the Leader of Opposition and coalition partners. It was an administrative issue and, therefore, the president signed the summary without consultation with coalition partners, he said.
In reply to a question about the NRO case hearing, Mr Gilani said he would not appear before the Supreme Court on Wednesday because the Turkish prime minister would be visiting Pakistan the same day.
On rumours about change of government, Mr Gilani said he had been hearing such speculations for several months, adding that major political parties were coalition partners of the PPP and there could not be a better government than the present one.
Ruling out any possibility of mid-term polls, he said that when situation in the country did not permit even local government elections, how could there be snap polls.
Answering a question about concerns expressed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government over the formula for distribution of the aid under the Kerry-Logar Bill, the prime minister said the aid was delayed because of propaganda spread by vested elements about dissolution of the government.
He held out the assurance that there would be no injustice in distribution of aid.
He said that even the amount collected in the Prime Minister Fund would be distributed equally among the federating units in accordance with the level of destruction caused by the floods or terrorism in each province.
About the charge-sheet issued by the PML-N against former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf, Mr Gilani said Mr Muhsarraf had toppled the elected government of Nawaz Sharif which was a condemnable act.—Agencies