ISLAMABAD  - Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani called Saturday for country's thousands of death sentences to be commuted to life in prison as part of a birthday tribute to slain Benazir Bhutto. Though Gilani does not have the authority to directly commute the sentences, he said he would forward a recommendation to empty death row to President Pervez Musharraf, who is expected to approve it. The mass commutation, which would not prevent future death sentences from being handed down, would be a major victory for human rights activists. Gilani said he wanted to stop the executions as a tribute to Bhutto. Gilani's recommendation came on what would have been Bhutto's 55th birthday, which was marked in low-key ceremonies at her mausoleum in the town of Naudero. Parliament observed a minute of silence for Bhutto. "We have asked the Ministry of the Interior to send a recommendation to the president to convert the death sentence of prisoners to life in prison," he said, adding that his action was a tribute to Bhutto, who sacrificed her life to help the country. Parliament observed a moment of silence on Saturday to honour slain ex-premier Benazir Bhutto in one of a series of remembrance gestures 55 years after her birth. Gilani told parliament that a monument would be built at the site of Benazir's assassination and that a main road in Rawalpindi and the hospital where she died would also be named after her. "We will accomplish the mission of our great leader and make Pakistan a peaceful democratic and welfare state," Gilani said. "She believed in democracy and wanted priority for the health and education sectors," he said. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman after the start of the session pointed out that "It is first birth anniversary of Shaheed BB after her death and the House should observe silence for two minutes to pay tribute to her and should pray for her". After observing two minutes silence Hamid Saeed Kazmi offered 'fateha' for BB. Later, paying tribute to her, Riaz Hussain Pirzada lamented that "It is great misfortune that late BB is not among us today". He said, "I on behalf of Opposition leader Ch Pervaiz Elahi, Ch Shujaat Hussain and other members of PML-Q express grief and sorrow over the demise of BB." He said the nation was also grieved over the sad demise. Syed Haider Abbas Rizvi said, "Today when the people should have to celebrate her birth anniversary, they are passing through sorrow and grief." He said Benazir Bhutto came here with a message of National Reconciliation that brought about happiness on the faces of the people but unfortunately she was assassinated. He on behalf of MQM leader Altaf Hussain, members of parliament expressed sympathy with the bereaved family, PPP workers and prayed that Allah Almighty may give her highest place in heaven. PPP-Sherpao Parliamentary leader Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said, "today is a very sad day not only for the members of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto's family but for all the nation." Munir Khan Orakzai said, "on behalf of Federally Administrate Tribal Areas (FATA) "I expressed sorrow over the assassination of Benazir Bhutto." He said Benazir Bhutto was a great leader especially of Muslim world. Abdul Matin of ANP said Benazir Bhutto was well informed leader and quick decision maker. She had text a chapter in the history of country's politics. Maulana Atta-ur-Rehman said the country is suffering from the incident of Benazir Bhutto's killing. He sympathized with Asif Ali Zardari and other family members of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said leaders like Benazir Bhutto seldom born, her death is matter of sorrow to her family and people of Pakistan. He said PPP government should continue her vision and mission of serving the nation. He also expressed sorrow on behalf of PML-N. The Prime Minister announced the setting up of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Trust, which will look after the children, particularly from FATA, whose parents lost lives in terrorists' attacks or bombing. He said Benazir could have happily lived either in Dubai or London after the first attempt on her life in Karachi on October 18 last year. "But she was a symbol of federation and belonged to Pakistan," he added. Recalling his 21 long years association with the party and Benazir Bhutto, the Prime Minister said he worked with her as Member National Assembly, opposition member, Speaker and party's vice chairman. On the occasion, Speaker NA Dr Fehmida Mirza said Benazir was an icon of hope for the oppressed people of Pakistan as she struggled for their rights and democracy. Staff Reporters add: Apart from paying homage to the slain PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto and approving billions of rupees for various departments, federal government in the National Assembly spelled out its counter-Taliban strategy by hiring volunteers force in the tribal area with the minimum salary of Rs 18,000 per month. Advisor to Prime Minister Rehman A Malik revealed to the Lower House while defending the budget for his ministry that there was a dire need for allocating more funds to combat militancy in the tribal and adjacent areas. "Taliban are paying Rs 10,000 per month to the unemployed youth but we want to pay them at least Rs 18,000 per month to bring normalcy to the troubled regions of the country," Malik maintained. Elaborating the government's counter-Taliban strategy, Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior said that targeted actions would be taken in certain parts of NWFP to control the regrouping of Taliban to revive complete writ of the government. He said the NWFP government has prepared a plan in this regard and the federal government will assist them in its implementation. Malik said around 25,000 people from FATA are being settled in DI Khan, adding that the government has conducted three jirgas with tribal elders to maintain peace there. The government has also taken measures to ensure availability of flour in FATA at the same price as in Peshawar, he said. He told the House that the government in consent with tribal elders would recruit 15,000 volunteers on minimum wage of Rs 18,000. He said Taliban gave them Rs 10,000 as salary, so the government has offered more to counter the Taliban. In addition to this, Directorate of Passport and Immigration has set up offices in every agency headquarter of FATA to facilitate the local people in obtaining Machine Readable Passport, he said. He said the government helped release 62 Pakistani prisoners from Guantanamo Bay and 22 from Afghanistan and now there are only six prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. The House approved nine demands for grants worth Rs 29.39 billion for Interior Division and associated departments and rejected 204 cut motions presented by the opposition members on demands with a majority vote. Minister for Finance Syed Naveed Qamar moved the motions to the House while Advisor to Prime Minister on Interior Rehmn Malik opposed the cut motions on behalf of the government. Discussing the demands for grants on cut motions, former Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao said economic prosperity is linked with better law and order. He said our law enforcement agencies were not geared up to face drastic change in law and order situation after 9/11 and called for political input as well to contain terrorist activities. He said tribesmen should not be forced to lay down arms prior to any peace deal, saying that they would never act against their traditions, and demanded the inclusion of all political parties in dialogue process. He recounted the steps taken by the previous government like finger print identification system, DNA laboratory, machine-readable passport, special investigation group of FIA and information sharing with 38 countries and urged the government to ensure proper implementation of Police Order 2002. Sheikh Waqas Akram criticized the increasing interference of the foreign powers in Pakistan's affairs and added that suicide and bomb attacks are nothing but retaliation of the atrocities they faced in the name in war on terror. He said, "It is high time we decided either to follow the US policies or to save our country as the deteriorating law and order situation might get out of control, if not resolved timely". He said it was the tribes, which protected Pakistan during the days when Russia attacked Afghanistan but unfortunately, they are being killed in the name of war on terror. Marvi Memon recalled that there were two suicide attacks in 2002, 56 in 2007 and 22 in 2008 while as many as 302 bomb attacks took place in 2006, 471 in 2007, 294 in 2008 and the situation has not improved as yet. She said peace deals in tribal areas and Balochistan could not prove successful, demanding that root causes should be addressed to bring peace in troubled areas of NWFP and tribal areas. Riaz Fatyana called for amendments in years old Criminal Procedural Code and sought cooperation from the federal government and secret agencies to strengthen the functioning of the ministry. He said jails in Pakistan are overcrowded as around 80,000 prisoners have been accommodated in prisons having capacity of 30,000 people. He also criticized small allocation for jails in the budget 2008-09. Dr Donya Aziz said due to frequent strikes by lawyers' fraternity, the functioning of district courts in the federal capital is being affected badly. She said Afghan President Hamid Karzai had never dared to threaten Pakistan during the last government and questioned what changes have happened that encouraged him to give such statements. Raza Hayat Haraj stressed that the government should struggle to bring peace in tribal areas of the country, adding that use of force would never help resolve law and order situation. Atiya Inayatullah said, being an equal partner in war on terror, Pakistan should never allow the US to cause any harm to Pakistan's sovereignty. She said war on terror has turned into war against Islam. Nasrullah Bijrani said critical situation in Balochistan should be contained through peaceful dialogue. Kashmala Tariq opposed the placement of the Capital Development Authority under the preview of Cabinet Division and also called for ending political interference in police affairs. Bushra Rehman said there is need to improve interior policy of the government to bring improvement in law and order situation. Shahnaz Sheikh proposed the regularization of contractual and daily wages employees of National Database and Registration Authority. Shahzada Mohiyuddin urged the federal government to extend its support to ensure implementation of peace deals being signed with the militants in tribal areas. National Assembly approved two demands for grants worth Rs 58.590 billion for Water and Power Division and associated departments. The House rejected 181 cut motions presented by the opposition members on demands with a majority vote. Minister for Finance Syed Naveed Qamar moved the motions to the House while Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf opposed the cut motions on behalf of the government. Discussing the demands for grants on cut motions, opposition member Raza Hayat Haraj said despite water scarcity, no dam has been constructed. He opposed shelving of Kalabagh Dam Project and suggested a debate in this regard. Iqbal Mohammed Ali Khan said Karachi City is facing power outage again, though the situation had improved after the establishment of the new government. He also opposed reducing the subsidy in power sector saying that it would put more burden on poverty stricken people.