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No more packing up of parliament: Zardari

Against the backdrop of tense relations with the judiciary, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has asserted that the era of "packing the Parliament through back door" was over.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Islamabad
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2012 06:05 PM IST

Against the backdrop of tense relations with the judiciary, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has asserted that the era of "packing the Parliament through back door" was over.

A day after Yousuf Raza Gilani's disqualification by the Supreme Court, Zardari said the people know how to ensure the supremacy of Parliament and the Constitution.

The era of "packing the parliament through the back door" by using the defunct Article 58 (2b) of the Constitution is over for all times and "no back doors and side doors will be allowed to be reopened for sending the elected parliaments home", Zardari said.

"Our people will also not suffer a destiny thrust upon them by militants and extremists in the name of religion or in any other name," he added.

His message came yesterday on the eve of the 59th birth anniversary of his slain wife, former premier Benazir Bhutto.

On Tuesday, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry disqualified Gilani in response to several petitions that had challenged Speaker Fehmida Mirza's decision not to disqualify the premier following his conviction of contempt.

The apex court had convicted Gilani of contempt in April for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against Zardari.

Zardari reiterated the PPP's commitment to the supremacy of parliament and the Constitution and the "building of a modern, egalitarian and pluralistic society in which everyone is allowed opportunity to help shape his or her own destiny".

Noting that the PPP had survived the "judicial murder" of its founder, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and the abuse of judicial processes to hound Benazir Bhutto, Zardari said the party will "continue to defy odds and grow from strength to strength".

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