LAHORE (MIAN DAWOOD) – Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that PPP government had restored the Constitution and there was no question of violating it on any ground.

Criticizing PML-N President Nawaz Sharif during a meeting with a lawyers’ delegation at the Governor’s House here, the prime minister said the success of the PPP government had made the two-time prime minister frustrated.

He said the SC verdict had pushed up the PPP’s popularity graph, adding that the PML-N was already struggling to maintain its position as a formidable political party.

Gilani said Nawaz was frustrated as he was losing popularity, and result of by-election in Multan was a proof of that.

The premier said the coalition he led for more than four years had approved the 19th Amendment in accordance with the wishes of the superior judiciary under which the judges had been given full authority for new appointments at courts.

The meeting was attended by People’s Lawyers Forum (PLF) Punjab President Sardar Khurram Latif Khosa; secretary Iftikhar Shahid; senior vice president Khalid Hashmi; Lahore division president Zahid Chaudhry and others. Governor Latif Khan Khosa was also present on the occasion.

“We did a lot as per judiciary’s wishes. We gave them the right to appoint new judges, but they convicted me,” a lawyer quoted Gilani as saying at the meeting.

Another member quoted the PM as saying that the Supreme Court judges had interpreted the Constitution according to their own thoughts. The PM was of the view that the PPP had always worked for the supremacy of constitution and would continue to uphold it.

According to a press release issued after the meeting, the prime minister on his participation in the National Assembly session on Friday, said he did not require permission from the opposition to attend the House.

Ch Nisar Ali Khan had said recently that he would see how the prime minister set foot in the elected House after being disqualified by the apex court.

Gilani said the verdict in contempt case was not final as he had right to file an appeal.

“The PPP leadership has not raised the questions regarding Mehran Bank scandal since the matter is sub-judice,” said Gilani comparing his party’s attitude with that of the PML-N’s.

Defending his stance on writing a letter to the Swiss authorities despite the SC orders, Gilani said the president enjoyed immunity under Article 248.

“We respect our institutions including the judiciary, and as per wishes of Benazair Bhutto, we led a campaign for the restoration of judiciary.”

He said Sharif was in political arena only because of an amendment passed by the PPP-led coalition under which the ban on third term premiership had been waived of. Had this not been done, Sharif would have become totally irrelevant in national politics.

Talking about the NRO (National Reconciliation Ordinance), Gilani was of the opinion that the first NRO was the one under which Sharif was exiled to Saudi Arabia.

He recalled that Sharif first denied the existence of any exile agreement but later said it was not for 10 years but five years.