Pakistan's embattled PM steels for fight

View photos
A supporter of Pakistan's ruling People's party reacts while holding a poster showing Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, during a protest to condemn the verdict against Gilani, in Karachi, Pakistan, Thursday, April 26, 2012. Pakistan's Supreme Court convicted the prime minister of contempt on Thursday but gave him only a symbolic few minutes of detention inside the court, leaving the premier in power but weakened and facing fresh calls to resign, a punishment that could be used as the basis to push Gilani from power in the months to come. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan's prime minister has challenged the opposition to unseat him in a fiery speech a day after he was convicted by the Supreme Court for contempt.

The speech Friday by Yousuf Raza Gilani in parliament signaled the premier had no intention of resigning, and foreshadowed likely bitter political conflict.

Gilani was convicted for refusing to open a dormant corruption probe against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari. But the court handed him a symbolic sentence of less than a minute's detention.

He argued that the constitution gives the president immunity from prosecution.

Gilani said his "crime was protecting the constitution" and urged challenged opposition leaders to table a no-confidence motion against his rule "if they think they have principles and scruples and high moral grounds."