An increasingly confident Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani appears set to enhance his control over the Pakistan government, having cancelled the appointment of an ambassador nominated by President Asif Ali Zaradari and planning to remove three ministers considered close to him.
When Gilani was named premier by the ruling Pakistan People’s Party after its victory in last year’s general election, many assumed he would simply be a “yes man” to Zardari, who is also the PPP chief. But in recent months, he has shown his ability to take on the President on crucial issues, sources in the party told PTI.
Gilani, who has earned praise from his countrymen for bringing up India’s alleged “interference” in Balochistan during his recent meeting with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, has also made it clear that he does not share Zardari’s view that India does not pose a threat to Pakistan.
Over the weekend, Gilani cancelled the appointment of Jahanzeb Khan -- a member of the lowly District Management Group from which deputy commissioners are chosen -- as the envoy to France.
It has been widely reported that Khan, known for his links with French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s brother Guillaume, was chosen for the post by Zardari. Though Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi intervened after career diplomats expressed their opposition to the move, he was unable to sway Zardari.