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Defiant Pakistan PM refuses to step down

world Updated: Apr 27, 2012 23:34 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times
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Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday brushed aside suggestions that he should resign and told Parliament that the only person who could remove him was the speaker of the house.

"No court can unseat an elected prime minister who has been given the mandate by 180 million people," he said, in reference to Thursday's Supreme Court judgement that found him guilty of contempt and of ridiculing the judiciary.

He said that the speaker of the national assembly should "not act as a post office" by receiving a court order and implementing it. "You do your own investigations and hold your own court," he said.

He also challenged the opposition to move a no-confidence motion against him in the house.

Speaking on the Supreme Court's conviction, he said that throughout the world, heads of state enjoy immunity.

Gilani said that he was convicted merely for protecting the constitution of the country. "Many media reports said that I looked happy after the verdict was announced … Yes I was happy, because I protected the constitution of this country."

Meanwhile, the copy of the Supreme Court's verdict was sent to speaker of the parliament Dr Fehmida Mirza and the Election Commission. As per the law, the speaker has to take a decision within 30 days on the disqualification.