Pushed on the back foot by the powerful military's criticism of some of the provisions in the US economic aid bill, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday said the clauses of the Kerry-Lugar legislation are not binding on Pakistan.
Hours after a meeting of the corps commanders chaired by Army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani expressed serious concern over clauses in the American legislation "impacting on national security", Gilani told parliament will act according to consensus.
The Kerry-Lugar bill is "not a contract" and its clauses are "not binding" on Pakistan, Gilani said. Any bill passed by the US Congress and Senate is not binding on Pakistan and it was up to the parliament to make a final decision in the matter, he said.
The army's corps commanders decided to provide a "formal input" about their concerns to the Pakistan People's Party-led government, the military said in a statement.
Gilani said he had spoken to the military and received a letter from it on the Kerry-Lugar bill. Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Gen Kayani had been taken into confidence on the American legislation and the government will not "do anything on which there is no consensus", he said.