ISLAMABAD - Altogether rejecting the impression of removal of Chief of Army Staff and Director General ISI from their posts, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Monday that certain vested interests were churning such rumours and made it clear that the government would not go for any misadventure, which in the past had resulted in the derailment of democracy.

“There are rumours that the government probably wants to remove them (COAS and DG ISI). This is absurd. Some opportunists are presenting this theory before the nation, which is wrong,” Gilani said in response to a question while talking to newsmen here at the Prime Minister’s House.

He said that it was on his insistence that COAS General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and DG ISI Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja Pasha had gotten extension. “I am happy with him,” Gilani remarked with reference to Gen. Kayani.

In response to another question about his remarks of state within a state, Gilani clarified, “It pertained to the attitude of Federal Secretary for Defence” and added, every institution is under the government and there can’t be a separate government.” 

In response to a question about the extension of Gen. Kayani and Gen. Pasha, Gilani said, “You cannot change the Generals in the middle of war,” - a reference to the war on terror. “That was on my request,” he said, adding they did not seek extension. “Gen. Kayani is pro-democracy,” he further remarked.

To another question, Gilani also rejected the notion of any tension between the government and army and said, “how can we run a government if there is any tension.”

“Today I talked to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of the Staff Committee on certain issues,” Gilani added. About his recent speech in the National Assembly, the Prime Minister said that addressing the National Assembly and Senate was his prerogative.

To a question, the Prime Minister said after the attack of NATO forces, a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) was called, political and civil leadership assembled and decisions pertaining to national security were taken.

Thew NATO supply was halted, Shamsi air base was vacated, Bonn Conference was boycotted and “we showed solidarity with the 24 brave martyred soldiers and military,” he added.

The Prime Minister said, at the meeting of DCC, it was decided to refer the matter to Parliamentary Committee on National Security that will prepare recommendations to be put before the joint sitting of the Parliament, so it can decide new terms of engagement with United States, NATO and ISAF.

To another question, he said that the memo issue was referred to Parliamentary Committee on National Security.

To another question, he said, the Judicial Commission on Abbottabad incident is looking into the issue of presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister said that performance of their democratically elected government cannot be compared with regime of Gen Musharraf, which had no mandate to rule the country through a referendum.

He said that at the start of the PPP government, PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar was the Finance Minister and he was on record to have said about the dismal state of the economy inherited from the Musharraf regime.

He said that 2012 will be the year of Balochistan and during the year, the government will also focus its attention on controlling inflation and the issue of circular debt.

The Minister for Finance has been asked to follow a time-line to restructure public sector organizations including PIA, Railways, PEPCO and others, Gilani said, adding, the government cannot go on using the option of borrowing and printing currency notes as it will not be good for the economy.

It is right of the opposition to play to the gallery and embarrass the government, he said and added, he had been in the government many times and since 1947 he was constantly hearing the statements that Pakistan was going through very difficult times.

Politics is a day to day affair and nobody should worry whether the country or religion is in danger, he remarked.

Gilani said that he realizes that people are facing problem of electricity and gas shortages but wants to provide relief within the available resources as every government will like to get vote on the basis of its performance.

The Prime Minister said it is customary not to accept the result of elections. The same happened in 1977 elections when results were not accepted and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and opposition parties held talks and all points were agreed but the third force came and a long martial law followed.