ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto said on Thursday that the state ‘surrendered’ before a few protesters in Islamabad this week which was a painful sight.

Talking to the media here, Bilawal said that the government was nowhere to be seen during the marathon sit-in by the Tehrik-e-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah - exposing the bad governance.

The PPP leader said that elected governments must be allowed to complete their terms. “Only this way, democracy could flourish. The system must continue,” he said.

Bilawal said all political forces must unite on a single point that there will be no compromise on democracy.

He said that the PPP had laid down sacrifices for the sake of democracy. “Now we need to strengthen the system. There should never be a threat to democracy,” he contended.

He said during the previous term in office, the PPP had launched the Benazir Income Support Programme to empower the poor. He said the PPP will hold a massive rally in Islamabad’s Parade Ground on December 5 to mark the party’s Foundation Day.

He expressed concerns on the census claiming Sindh faced discrimination. Bilawal said the people of Sindh, Balochistan and South Punjab had also complained about the census.  Earlier, Bilawal hoisted a party flag at the Zardari House to mark the party’s 50th Foundation Day.

The PPP chief said that his party was working to strengthen democracy in the country and will continue to do so. “We should recall our weakness throughout these 50 years,” he suggested.

The PPP has decided to arrange week-long ceremonies to mark the golden jubilee of the party. PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari cut the cake in Karachi while Bilawal cut the cake in Islamabad on Thursday.

In a message on the PPP’s Foundation Day, Bilawal said despite braving worst onslaughts, conspiracies and media trials by three dictatorial regimes and their puppets, the PPP was here to stay and continue to make history.

He said in the struggle for a democratic and invincible Pakistan with an egalitarian society, the PPP lost founder Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and thousands of workers.

“But the struggle is on and the convoy of democracy and downtrodden masses is still marching towards our mission,” he said.

Meanwhile, PPP leader Rehman Malik felicitated workers on the party’s 50th Foundation Day occasion.

“Today is the day to pay rich tribute to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and founding members of PPP for architecting a political platform which introduced the people of Pakistan with their basic democratic rights,” he said in a statement.

Senator Malik said that the people of Pakistan were deprived of their basic democratic rights and had no constitution when the PPP was founded.

He said that the PPP was the only political party that existed in every part of the country and it was a symbol of the Federation and always strengthened the federating units.

“None but the PPP gave the provincial autonomy, gave a name to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and empowered Gilgit-Baltistan by giving the status of a province and now it is aiming to mainstream the tribal areas,” he said.

Malik said PPP had rendered massive sacrifices for the wellbeing of Pakistan , its people and strengthening democracy adding he is proud to be the part of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto’s mission. Commending the role of Zardari, he said that “Asif Ali Zardari while playing the role as a real democratic leader transferred all his powers to the Parliament proudly to strengthen democracy and democratic institutions.”

Separately, Zardari said the Eid-e-Miladun Nabi falling today (December 1) encouraged the people to ponder and reflect.

“On this auspicious day, while we rejoice in the birthday of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) today, we should also reflect on how far we have deviated from his preaching of tolerance and understanding. He would never have preached violence in his name. The violence witnessed recently in his name must make us pause and reflect,” he said in a message.

He added: “On this occasion let us also pray to Allah to grant us collective wisdom to imbibe the true spirit of his message of love, tolerance, and humility and to follow it in letter and spirit.”