MULTAN-Former prime minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that the sentence which led to his disqualification was based on bad intent.

Addressing the PLF South Punjab Convention here on Saturday, he said that the 1973 constitution was constituted by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and restored in its real form by him. He added that the credit to restore democracy in the country went to Benazir Bhutto. He added that former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry was in the custody of dictator but he got him released through his first speech as Prime Minister. “Ironically I was his first victim. “He handed me a six second sentence and disqualified me for five years,” he lamented. He said that the verdict to disqualify him was based on bad intent. He said that a person could not face disqualification if his sentence was less than two years. He said that he was punished without any justification. “I have received a call from Khurshid Shah, who told me that the audit para which was used for sentencing me has today been presented before the Public Accounts Committee. I have faced the punishment in advance while the case against me is being heard now,” he lamented.

He claimed that Mian Nawaz Sharif did not want to participate in the elections but it was Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari who convinced him to contest the elections. He said that he is Pakistani and knows how to defend the country. “I ask all those, who are talking against Pakistan, to go somewhere else from Pakistan,” he added.

He said that the lawyers played an important role in the creation of Pakistan and now they have to replicate the same role for its stability. He said that the lawyers supported democracy against dictatorship and created golden history in movement for restoration of judiciary. He said that when he wanted to join PPP, Benazir Bhutto asked him to resign from Zia government first. He said that the PPP gave a common man the right to vote, turned Pakistan into a nuclear power and gave constitution to the country.

He said that the manifesto of PPP is based on charter of democracy, adding that he implemented 85 percent of the charter but 15 percent remained unimplemented due to opposition of the PML-N. He said that it was PPP that got eliminated 58 (2) B from presidential powers, adding that the government stand strong and stable due to this achievement of PPP.

He said that the parliament is the only true representative of 200 million Pakistanis. “We need to strengthen the parliament,” he noted. He said that he strengthened the parliament and today the PPP faced the allegations that they supported the government. He said that the allegation was false as the PPP always strengthened the institutions and not personalities. He said that he was seeking bail when his son returned after three years of kidnapping.

He suggested to the government strengthen the institutions besides granting autonomy to the provinces. He said that Pakistan needed to block increasing Indian intervention in Balochistan. He said that Indian oppression in Kashmir had crossed all limits but the world was silent on it.

Speaking on this occasion, former Governor Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood said that the PPP always upheld the honour and respect of Pakistan, judiciary, constitution and democracy. Citing an example, he said that Yousuf Raza issued order for the release of caged judges in his maiden speech as Prime Minister. He said that only Yousuf Raza was the only Prime Minister who was punished in a contempt of court case while Benazir Bhutto appeared before the courts along with her kids and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto embraced the gallows in respect of judiciary.

He lashed out at Imran Khan and said that investors sponsored his activities to highlight his processions, adding that he was a celebrity, who had no ideology. He maintained that the PML-N hijacked the entire system and every person is in their grip. He said that a young man, who was brought up by Benazir Bhutto, was rectifying the party system, adding that he was also member of the committee constituted by Bilawal for this purpose.

Earlier, Youfu Raza Gilani narrowly escaped an injury as the stage collapsed when he came to the podium to address the lawyers. A large number of lawyers climbed on the wooden stage when Gilani came for delivering his speech which resulted in the collapse. The lawyers, however, grabbed Yousf Raza from the back and did not let him fell on the ground.