Jamali discounts reports of possible ouster

Himalayan News Service

Islamabad, June 5:

Pakistani Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali has discounted reports he could be on his way out, asserting that he is “firmly in the saddle” and there is no threat to his government. “I do not think there is any threat to my government and I feel that I am firmly in my office as prime minister,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a reception here for Arab envoys yesterday evening. Jamali had met President Pervez Musharraf earlier in the evening but he gave no details of their discussions.

Jamali also denied any differences with Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, president of the unified Pakistan Muslim League (PML) that rules Pakistan. “He (Shujaat) is supporting me, my party is supporting me and our allies are supporting me, and I am thankful to all of them,” Jamali maintained. “With the blessing of God Almighty I am firmly in office and have no differences whatsoever with Hussain”, he added. Hussain separately discounted reports of differences with Jamali or that he was being replaced. “Reports pertaining to the removal of Jamali’s government are false,” he told reporters in parliament.

Friday Times had said in an editorial that Jamali’s days were numbered since he had lost whatever little goodwill he had with Musharraf. “The loudest whisper in Islamabad is that Musharraf wants Jamali to pack up and leave. But Jamali is dragging his feet and seems faintly defiant,” Najam Sethi, editor of the newspaper, said in a signed editorial.