NAROWAL – Criticising the PML-N’s protest movement, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said Saturday that right time for holding a long march was Musharraf’s era when judges were jailed and media was facing curbs and it was too late to make such a move now.

Addressing a public meeting after inaugurating a Sui gas project for the people of Narowal, Gilani criticised the protest movement and said, “The right time for a long march was Musharraf’s era when judges were in jails and the media was restrained. You should have come back from Jeddah and held a long march for the people and the judiciary”. Gilani said no party was stronger than Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in all four provinces of the country in respect of power and people’s mandate. “You made a deal and left the country. We are the ones who fought for democracy,” he added. Gilani said champions of long march had no general mandate.

Referring to Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif without taking any names, Gilani said, “One brother says that he doesn’t accept the president, the other brother says he doesn’t accept the prime minister. Now a new person has emerged, Chaudhry Nisar, who says he doesn’t accept the speaker. What kind of a leadership is this?”

Gilani said the restoration of 1973 Constitution in its original form, which was disfigured by the dictators, was the biggest ever achievement of the PPP Government which came to power with the support of masses.

The premier said the dictators could not take any decision on the National Finance Commission Award and again it was the credit of the PPP and its allies, which took the decision and announced the NFC Award to ensure the rights to all provinces. Gilani said only the PPP coalition government could ensure the sanctity of the Constitution.

He said PPP was the biggest party of the country, adding, that caravan of democracy was on its way forward despite conspiracies being hatched against the government.

He said billions of rupees had been spent on welfare projects in far-flung and backward areas. He also announced Rs two million for Narowal Bar Council on the call of the Bar president.

He also lashed out at PML-N and PTI saying he was surprised at Opposition leader Ch Nisar Ali Khan’s attitude who had been changing his views continuously regarding the government. He said PPP brought revolutionary changes in socio-economic and socio-political aspects of life.

Gilani said people were the source of PPP government’s power as it was its founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who gave the right to vote to a common man on basis of one man one vote.

Gilani was of the view that PPP was the name of a philosophy‚ mission and a movement.

The prime minister said that the party leadership and workers bore the hardships during their political struggle and never bowed down in front of any dictator. They never changed their loyalties, he added.

The premier claimed that they had implemented 80 per cent of Benazir Bhutto‘s election manifesto. He said PPP had won all the by-elections which reflected party’s popularity among the masses.

He said President Zardari spent 11 years in prison while he himself was jailed for five years but they never stepped back from the philosophy of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Gilani said, “I was asked not to visit Narowal as the people living here didn’t vote for PPP but I decided otherwise and undertook the city’s visit.”