Ruling out any differences between the government and the Army, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said the force was working within the ambit of the constitution and has to follow official policies.
Mr. Gilani also made it clear that the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is “working effectively” under his control.
During an interview with a TV news channel, he expressed complete confidence in the working of the ISI and said “we do not want to politicise them”.
“The army stands by the government and there is no doubt about it...It is the first time that the Pakistan People’s Party has better ties with the army,” Mr. Gilani said when he was asked about the army’s reservations about conditions attached to a U.S. aid provided through the Kerry-Lugar Act.
Mr. Gilani was also asked about the army’s role in restoring members of the superior judiciary sacked by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf and the decision not to send the ISI chief to India following the Mumbai attacks.
Referring to the army’s stand on the Kerry-Lugar Act, Mr. Gilani said: “We are together.”
The army is playing a “pro-democracy role” and this had allowed PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari to be sworn in as President of the country.
Referring to a political crisis created by the Supreme Court’s recent annulment of the National Reconciliation Ordinance, a graft amnesty promulgated by Musharraf, Mr. Gilani said neither he nor the federal government and the four provinces had defended it.
Ministers who benefited from NRO are already facing courts after the reopening of cases quashed under NRO, he said.
Asked about the possibility of Musharraf being put on trial on charges of treason for violating the constitution, Mr. Gilani said: “I am for the trial of Musharraf but I need the consensus of the (parliament).”
The Supreme Court too can take suo moto notice of the issue as it has been doing in many cases of public interest, he said.
Mr. Gilani also said his government is taking effective measures to improve the country’s law and order situation and would “try to turn the difficult times into an opportunity.”
He described the U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal belt as counter-productive and said Washington is being convinced about this issue.
He hoped that the two sides would soon evolve a strategy to share actionable intelligence so that Pakistan can take action on its own against militants.