Pakistan parliament gives PM Gilani unanimous vote


Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani Saturday secured an unprecedented unanimous vote of confidence from parliament, tightening his grip on power in the nuclear-armed state.

Opposition parties backed Gilani after he called for their support for democracy and stability.

A coalition lawmaker had moved a resolution for the vote of confidence, which Gilani won from all 342 lower house MPs.

"The resolution is passed unanimously," speaker Famida Mirza told the house.

A key aide of murdered opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, Gilani will lead a coalition that won general elections last month, trouncing loyalists of US-ally President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan has been a bulwark in the US-led fight against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The country has suffered an unprecedented wave of violence including suicide bombings in the past year blamed on Al Qaeda and Taliban militants trying to destabilise the Islamic nation.

Gilani on Tuesday told US President George W. Bush that a broader approach to the "war on terror" was necessary, including political solutions and development programmes.

Gilani made the call for a rethink in policy when Bush telephoned him to congratulate him on taking office. (AFP)