In a veiled message to Pakistan's proactive judiciary, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said its fate was intertwined with that of the government and the two organs of democracy are bound to go down together.
Pakistan's ruling PPP has been at loggerheads with the Supreme Court, especially its independent minded Chief Justice
Iftikhar Chaudhry, who has strongly taken up with the government the issue of reopening of the graft cases against
President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.
While refusing to comment on proceedings in the Supreme Court related to the controversial National
Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO), Gilani indicated his government would not bow down before anyone.
He also made it clear that the fate of the executive and judiciary were inter-twined.
"No one should have the wrong impression. We all came together, we will go together," he told reporters during a
visit to the railway ministry here.
"The matter (of implementing the apex court's order on the NRO) is sub-judice (and) I don't want to comment on it but
there is a lot of betting on it," he said in a lighter vein.
Gilani also trashed strongly reports that his government was on its way out, saying the "rumour-mongers
would be disappointed".
"I don't see (any change happening) in a democratic manner. So you needn't worry," he added.
He added: "The government will stay in power and will complete its five-year term".
Asked whether his government would write a letter to Swiss authorities to reopen graft cases against the President,
Gilani said the government had requested the adjournment of the case and would decide its next course of action after the outcome in the apex court.
Gilani further said he had asked those who benefited from NRO to voluntarily step down so that they could avoid
being embarrassed once their names are made public.
Sources told PTI that the ruling Pakistan People's Party's top leadership, including Zardari and Gilani, had
decided to take on the judiciary on the issue of reopening the graft cases against the President.
The PPP has also decided not to take action against ministers who benefited from the NRO as it believes none of
the charges against them have been proved, the sources said.
Gilani, who has been insisting that the President enjoys immunity from prosecution under the constitution, said
yesterday that only parliament, and not the Supreme Court, has the right to amend the constitution.
While ruling out the reopening of the cases against Zardari, he expressed the hope that the judiciary would not
issue any order that caused political instability.