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Pakistani PM Gilani secures assembly approval

Latest update : 2008-03-29

Pakistani PM Yousaf Raza Gilani, a top official from Benazir Bhutto's party, secured the unanimous approval of the National Assembly on Saturday. Gilani said the fight against terrorism would be his main priority.

ISLAMABAD, March 29 (Reuters) - Pakistani Prime Minister
Yousaf Raza Gilani laid out plans on Saturday for his coalition
government's first 100 days in power, saying the fight against
terrorism would be top of his agenda.

Gilani, a top official from assassinated former Prime
Minister Benazir Bhutto's party, secured the unanimous approval
of the National Assembly earlier on Saturday without a vote of
confidence after the opposition said it supported him.

A new prime minister is required by the constitution to
secure the backing of the lower house of parliament.

Shortly after the National Assembly speaker announced that
Gilani had secured unanimous approval, he began to lay out his
government's plans.

"Terrorism and extremism are our greatest problems. They
have put the country in danger. Therefore, it is our first
priority to bring peace to the country and fight terrorism,"
Gilani said.     He added that the government would be willing
to talk to militants who laid down their arms.

Bhutto's party won the most seats in a Feb. 18
parliamentary election and is forming a coalition government
with the party of another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif,
and two smaller parties.

The election was a setback for President Pervez Musharraf,
with the main party that backs him coming a poor third.

Musharraf has been a steadfast U.S. ally since the Sept. 11
attacks on the United States, but his support for the U.S.-led
campaign against terrorism has been deeply unpopular with many

After speaking about terrorism, Gilani moved on to the
considerable economic problems facing the country.

Date created : 2008-03-29