Pakistan does not want war with any one, says Gilani


Islamabad : Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday said Pakistan did not want war with any one, but if it was thrust on the country then the whole nation would stand united. Addressing the National Assembly before a general debate on Mumbai attacks and the situation arising afterwards, the Prime Minister stressed the need for focusing on the immediate problems of poverty and other issues confronting the region. “We have to focus on our problems and we don’t want to go into war. But if the war is thrust on us, we will stand united like a respectful nation,” he adding “Pakistan is not defensive. The nation, the army and the political leadership is united and we can defend our national sovereignty.”

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Prime Minister Gilani condemned terrorism and categorically stated that the territory of Pakistan will never be allowed to be used for terrorist activities. “We condemn terrorism wherever it is…the terrorists have neither principles, religion, faith, boundaries or scruples,” he added. Prime Minister Gilani said that in his meeting on Sunday with the British Prime Minister, he turned down his request for Britain probing the Pakistanis detained after Mumbai attacks. He said he told Gordon Brown that if there were any proofs, these persons will be prosecuted under the law of Pakistan. The UN resolution, Gilani added, was on hold since 2001, and it was because of this that Pakistan had to take certain steps. The Prime Minister made it clear that the welfare activities of Jamaat ud Dawa would not be stopped as thousands of people were benefiting from it. He said the government will now oversee all these welfare works and will be carried out under different names.

Gilani said immediately after the Mumbai attacks, he personally telephoned every political leader whether inside the parliament or outside and took them into confidence and convened an all parties conference. He thanked the political leadership of the country and the leader of the opposition for expressing un conditional solidarity on the national security issue. Gilani said the defense committee of the cabinet, which had remained dormant for the past many years, was also called in which the services chiefs, civil and military bureaucracy assured that they were united for the sake of Pakistan’s sovereignty and integrity, APP reported.

Similarly, he added, the cabinet of the coalition government stood by the people and the nation. The Prime Minister recounted that after the Mumbai attacks, he telephoned a number of world leaders, including the Prime Minister of Turkey, the Prime Minister of Italy and members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. These leaders, he said, talked to the Indian leadership and stated that they fully supported Pakistan. President Asif Ali Zardari, he added, also talked to the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and British leaders to elicit their support to calm down the situation. He said it was made clear by the Pakistani leadership that non state actors were responsible for whatever happened in Mumbai and Pakistan was not involved in any way.