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PM congratulates Gilani on passage of key legislation

world Updated: Apr 14, 2010 11:14 IST
PTI
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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who had two brief encounters with Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Washington, said, on Wednesday, that he had congratulated Gilani on the passage of a key legislation in Pakistan.

"In fact, I complemented the Prime Minister on the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill which, I think, makes the Prime Minister more powerful personality in Pakistan's political system," Singh said at a press conference.

No other issues were discussed, he added, responding to a question on his interactions with Gilani at the Nuclear Security Summit.

"I did run into him (Gilani) twice, and we exchanged pleasantries," said Singh who chatted briefly on Monday evening and Tuesday morning with the Pakistani Prime Minister.

The two met at a reception hosted by US President Barack Obama and just before the Plenary Session of the Summit on Tuesday.

Pakistan's parliament passed a landmark Constitutional Amendement on April 8 that strips President Asif Ali Zardari of sweeping powers such as the authority to dissolve the Parliament and dismiss an elected government.

Singh was evasive when asked whether he would meet Gilani in Bhutan during the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit to be held on April 28. "I think there is still time to think about the meeting in Bhutan. When we reach there we would cross the bridge."

Asked about Gilani's reported remarks that he had extended an invitation to Singh to visit Pakistan, he said, "I am hearing it for the first time."