Lahore: A day after his appearance in the Supreme Court to face a contempt notice, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday said there would be no clash between Pakistan's state institutions if they remained within their constitutional ambit.

"There is a trichotomy of power under the Constitution and every institution has to work while remaining within its limits. If every institution works within its limits, there is no clash," he said.

The government respects the judiciary and will abide by its decisions, Gilani said while interacting with reporters after attending convocation of the Lahore College for Women University.

Responding to questions from reporters about the opposition’s claim that the government was engaged in a confrontation with the judiciary, he said: "I want to tell you that I am working according to the Constitution of Pakistan and rule of law."

“The opposition's job is to embarrass the government", which has to "show magnanimity" and work according to its programme and the mandate given to it by the people, he said.

Asked about the opposition's demand for early polls to end the crises facing the country, he said, "If there is an election, we challenge them to face us."

Gilani appeared before a Supreme Court bench on Thursday to respond to a contempt notice that was issued after he failed to act on orders to reopen graft cases against President Asif Ali Zardari in Switzerland.

The Premier told the court that his government could not act on the orders as the President enjoyed immunity under the Constitution within the country and abroad.

The Premier told the reporters that his government had restored the Constitution of 1973 drafted by late Premier Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and strengthened state institutions.

"My going to the Supreme Court shows that we respect the judiciary and we want to strengthen the institutions," he said.

Gilani also defended his government's decision to review Pakistan-US ties after last year's cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

"With just one telephone call from an (American) Under Secretary, Gen (Pervez) Mushararf accepted all their demands. But this is an elected government with the support of 180 million people. When the NATO carried out an attack, we not only shut their supply lines but made them vacate Shamsi airbase and didn't go to the Bonn Conference (on Afghanistan)," he said.

The Parliamentary Committee on National Security had been asked to give recommendation for the review of ties with the US and these will be considered by a joint session of parliament, he said.

"We will be bound by whatever decisions parliament makes and not by any other country," he added.

Without naming Musharraf, Gilani referred to his reported plans to end his self-exile and to return to Pakistan.

"I want to tell them that they have no chance," he said.

(Agencies)