ISLAMABAD - The government has decided to summon joint session of the Parliament on January 30, two days ahead of the next hearing on the issue of contempt of court proceedings against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

The decision to call the joint sitting of the two houses was reportedly taken in a meeting of the government allies at the President House on Thursday night. Addressing the meeting, PM Gilani said that joint session of the Parliament would soon be called to discuss new terms of engagements in the war against terror, but he stopped short of announcing the date.

Sources said that the in the joint session the report furnished by Parliamentary Committee on National Security regarding Nato attack on Salala checkpost last November will be presented.

Besides, the approval for passage of 20th Amendment will be sought to give protection to a flawed election process of a number of members of parliament who had been declared successful after contesting by-elections in the absence of constitutionally mandated Election Commission of Pakistan in line of 18th Amendment. The ongoing sessions of both houses of the parliament would continue for further three days.

The meeting, held to express gratitude to the coalition parties for their help in difficult times, was also attended by Speaker National Assembly Fehmida Mirza. President Zardari congratulated the prime minister for appearing before the Supreme Court in a dignified and respectful manner.

Zardari said that stable democracy was a dream of the PPP-led government and this would be top priority of the incumbent government’s agenda in future as well. While recounting various achievements of the coalition government during its tenure, the president remarked, “We have done a lot and would continue to do much more for the welfare of the people especially the poor and marginalised.”

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, who also addressed the meeting, welcomed the parliamentarians of coalition parties to the Presidency. Heads of allied parties including Asfandyar Wali Khan, Ch Shujaat Hussain, Munir Khan Orakzai, Ch Pervez Elahi, Syed Abbas Haider Rizvi and Senator Kalsum Perveen also spoke on the occasion and said that they have been with the government and would continue to support the government. The meeting reposed full confidence in the government and leadership of President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani.

The prime minister in his address thanked the coalition leaders for their support extended for strengthening the democracy and for accompanying him to the Supreme Court on Thursday as a token of esteem for judiciary and reinforcing the government’s commitment to ensure rule of law and strengthening of institutions. He described it as a historic and unprecedented occasion in the history of Pakistan where the chief executive of the country submitted before the Supreme Court to uphold law of the land.

Gilani also highlighted government’s most notable achievement to stabilise economy and said that the government was aware of the challenges facing the country. He said that the government was trying to overcome gas and power issues and that he has already directed the Finance Minister to step up efforts to overcome the current power crisis.

Syed Khursheed Shah said that the present parliament during the last four years have done historic legislations wherein 107 bills have been passed adding that over 80% of these bills were passed unanimously. He said that three bills were passed unanimously during this week which he said clearly negated the criticism that the Parliament was rubber-stamp. Shah said that passing of the National Commission for Women Bill 2011 in the national assembly was yet another milestone in realising the dream of Benazir Bhutto for safeguarding the rights of the women and their empowerment. Later, the president hosted dinner for the parliamentarians.