National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza says she is still discussing with constitutional experts the issue of Prime Minister Gilani’s conviction by the Supreme Court and the role she is supposed to play now.

She said in an interview to a TV channel on Monday that it was not right to say that her role was only that of a postman in sending the reference against the prime minister. Had it been so, she argued, the Constitution should not have given her 30 days to decide the issue.

When pressed that she should clarify the position about the reference the NA Speaker told the questioner that he wanted her to decide the matter without applying her mind.

Asked if she would like to come up to people’s expectations or that of the prime minister’s, Dr Mirza said she had been working according to the Constitution and the rules.  Hence, she said, she would not go by anyone’s expectations. “I have to keep the country’s situation in mind”.

“Is it the Constitution which is supreme or the supremacy is with the parliament?” the Speaker was asked.

She said she had never said that she would not abide by the Supreme Court’s orders. But at the same time, she said, the parliament also comprised the elected representatives.

She said different people had differing views on whether the supremacy lay with the parliament or the Constitution. However, she recalled that she had once given a ruling that the parliament was supreme.

About the interpretation of the 30 days that she had at his discretion, Dr Mirza said various opinions were being given about the start and the end of the period. But, she did not give her own views about it.

As for the power to interpret the Constitution, the NA Speaker said it was with the Supreme Court. However, she hastened to add that it was the elected representatives of the people who deliberated upon the basic law.

“The respect of the Supreme Court aside, the parliament also has a role (in the matter)”.

When suggested that the incumbent parliament was bringing a bad name to democracy because of the way it has been working during the past four years, the Speaker differed with the view. “We have proved we are the best parliament”.

She said the present parliament had enacted record legislation.

Asked what that legislation had given the common man, she said nobody should forget the challenges the present government had inherited at the time of taking over.

She said the border situation and the state of education four years ago should not be lost sight of.  The present setup had to raise afresh all the ‘demolished institutions’.

When pointed out that the drone attacks were continuing despite the unanimous resolutions passed by parliament, the Speaker said the younger generation should think who had struck deals for the purpose and who had permitted these attacks.

Although she did not name anyone, it was a clear reference to Gen Musharraf, who ruled the country for some nine years.

She said the younger generation should ask themselves if the elected representatives had not played their due role on the matter.

When the interviewer insisted that the ‘supreme parliament’ had failed to get the drone attacks halted, she said: “We don’t have a magic wand. Are we in a position to start a war against a super power? Do we want to take the country to a new war?”

She recalled that the present government had got vacated some air bases from the US control.

About the resolution that the NA had passed in favour of the ‘convicted prime minister’, the NA Speaker said the house had followed the rules and regulations. She pointed out that the law minister had sought permission to move the resolution and the deputy speaker, who was presiding over the session at the time, had granted the same according to the rules.

She reminded the critics that in democracy it was the majority’s opinion that prevailed.

She rejected the opposition leader’s assertion that rules had been violation in the passage of this resolution.