PPP rallies behind Gilani after his conviction by SC
From Rezaul H Laskar
Islamabad, Apr 26 (PTI) The ruling Pakistan People''s Party today rallied behind Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani following his conviction of contempt by the Supreme Court, making it clear that he would continue to hold the post.
A meeting of the top leadership of the PPP chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani "expressed dismay that an elected Prime Minister of the country had been sentenced for upholding the Constitution and supremacy of the parliament".
The PPP''s leadership noted "with disappointment" that no dictator had been punished by the judiciary for suspending and abrogating the Constitution and expressed "complete solidarity" with the premier.
The leaders declared that "Gilani was the elected Prime Minister of the country and could be removed only in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Constitution", said presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar.
The meeting also "expressed concern over attempts to dismiss an elected government and an elected Prime Minister", he said.
"After careful deliberations, the meeting decided to give a robust, considered and appropriate response to the new challenges with great political maturity and wisdom on the one hand, and firmness on the other, and employing all democratic and constitutional means available," Babar said.
The PPP leaders, including Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Law Minister Farooq Naek, gathered to assess the situation hours after the apex court convicted Gilani of contempt for refusing to act on repeated orders to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari in Switzerland. .