LAHORE - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani is not sure if the MQM will rejoin the coalition government but he believes it is not the end of years-long association with that party. The MQM people are still our friends and companions as we have had a long association with them, Gilani remarked in his brief chat with reporters after addressing passing out of 38th Common Training Programme and 33rd Specialised Training Programme of CSS probationers on Thursday. When asked if the MQM is going to rejoin the government, the PM replied: Ask this question from them, indicating thereby that he was not sure whether or not the MQM will come back on the treasury benches. Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Secretary Establishment Abdur Rauf, Director General, Civil Services Academy, Mr Khalid Sultan and National School of Public Policy Rector Ismail Qureshi were also present. Earlier, while addressing the probationers, the PM said some disturbing rating for Pakistan on the list of failed states had appeared recently, but he believed such ratings were more a result of faulty perceptions rather than the facts. If all the vital institutions of a state like parliament, judiciary, executive including armed forces, media and civil society are functioning and alive then we should only focus on strengthening these institutions rather than getting demoralised, he observed. Making a brief analysis of the situation that prevails in Pakistan today, Gilani said although it had become a rhetoric for the past 63 years to say that the country was passing through very times, but today its is time to make a reality check and the reality was that Pakistan was facing great security challenges. The difficult situation of our economy had further compounded them, he added. This dismal situation has coincided with the countrys move towards a new era of freedom of expression, democracy and active citizenship, he said, adding this era had dynamics of its own which were complex and multifaceted. That means the state and its institutions have to respond to the needs of the new era and have to understand that the old ways of responding to crisis situation will not work anymore, the PM remarked. He said an important dynamic of the new era was the media, civil society and an independent judiciary that were proactively trying to correct the course of the society. While the rule of law is an important element of democratic governance, perhaps societal reform is a time-taking process, he maintained. The reform process, he said, was a long arduous path that requires patience, analytical skills and dispassionate approach. He said all institutions have to play their due role as governance was a shared responsibility of all state institutions at all levels. Lets prepare our nation for that, he stressed. He asked probationers not to forget that today more than ever before in the past, your performance and actions are subject to a close public scrutiny. You will be held accountable for all acts of omission and commission. The PM on this occasion announced a grant of Rs 100 million for the improvement of training infrastructure at Civil Service Academy besides increasing free messing allowance for probationers from Rs175 to Rs 225 per day. He also announced a grant of Rs 1 million for DMG Alumni Resource Centre and Rs 10 million for the employees of academy.