Gilani says he is "ultimate winner" in standoff with judiciary

Pakistan's former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani today said the Speaker and parliament had endorsed his stance by not disqualifying him even after his conviction by the Supreme Court and he had thus emerged as the "ultimate winner" in the standoff between the executive and the judiciary.

"The Speaker and parliament protected the dominance of parliament in the country, though I had wished to be disqualified only by the Speaker or the parliament," he said during his first interaction with the media since he was disqualified by the apex court last week.

Gilani, who is also vice-chairman of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, was convicted of contempt by the apex court in April for refusing to revive graft cases against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. The Supreme Court disqualified him on the basis of his conviction.

The former premier, who is ineligible to contest polls for the next five years, said he had achieved whatever he had wanted during his premiership and that he had accepted the apex court’s decision to disqualify him.

Prime ministers keep coming and going but parliament should complete its tenure, he said. He noted that parliament had not accepted the Supreme Court's decision against him. Gilani said he had wished to be treated well during his farewell and that was exactly what happened.

"I always believe in the smooth transition of power and I became a part of it by being the only outgoing Prime Minister to have attended the oath-taking ceremony of the incoming premier," he said.

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