ISLAMABAD - Former President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that bright morning awaits Pakistanis once the long and hard fight against the militants and enemies of democracy comes to its logical end.
“I ask the workers to go out to spread the message of hope and deliverance, which is the message of the PPP. I urge you to tell the silent, demoralised and suffering majority of people that a bright morning awaits at the end of a long and hard fight against the militants and the enemies of democracy,” said the PPP leader in his message, as Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is celebrating its founding day today (30 November) by reiterating its commitment to the founding principles and the framework for the emancipation of the people, which lay at the basis when the party was founded by Shaheeed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
“The founding principles of the party ‘democracy is our politics’ and ‘all power to the people’ are ingrained in the consciousness of the people which will never be erased. Today we reiterate yet again that political change can only be brought about by the people through ballot and no one will be permitted to impose their political or ideological agenda through the bullet and the gun.”
Born during the struggle against dictatorship, he said, the PPP is proud of its record of continuous struggle against civil and military dictatorship, he said.
“Dictatorship rears its ugly head from time to time in different forms and appears in different manifestations,” he said, warning that militants and militancy seeking to impose their religious and sectarian ideology through force was a new form of dictatorship.
“Our leader Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto laid down her life leading from the front in the fight against this new threat to democracy. Let us on this founding day vow to continue fight against militants and militancy - a fight in which thousands of our brave men and women from the valiant armed forces, police, law enforcement agencies and civilians have laid down their lives.
Our mission is the great mission of emancipation, hope, honour and respect, a society free of poverty and of holding high the banner of human dignity for which the great Quaid-e-Awam gave his life.”
It was the PPP, which led the resistance against dictatorships and gave the country a unanimous Constitution, technological defence capability and a democratic culture, he said. When the constitution was disfigured by dictatorships it was the PPP which three years ago led the political parties in forging a rare political consensus to restore the constitution, he added.
“The Party’s momentous achievements were made possible by the enormous sacrifices made by the workers of the Party for which they deserved the gratitude of all patriotic people. History bears witness to the fact when the democratic and progressive elements of civil society were tortured, jailed and hanged there were also those who colluded with the dictators, took oath of allegiance and abetted in their crime of stifling the democratic voice,” he said, adding that the PPP salutes all these valiant workers for their dedication, commitment and sacrifices made for the cause.
Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: The PPP is celebrating its 47th Foundation Day on Saturday (today) but the tradition zeal to mark the event seems to be lacking this time with party’s old guards feeling alienated under the command of Asif Ali Zardari who had little contact with them during his five years in the Presidency.
Not happy with their leader’s reconciliation policy, they also want the party to return back to its basic ideology saying good bye to the newly acquired trait of power politics.
Party men blame flawed policies of the incumbent leadership for PPP’s defeat in the last general elections which led to widespread demoralisation among the party rank and file.
The PPP cadres have organised seminars at the provincial headquarters to celebrate the day. In Lahore, party activists would gather at Aiwan-e-Iqbal at 3 pm to listen to their leaders usual sermons delivered on such occasions.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is expected to address party workers through video link in a bid to infuse the much needed enthusiasm once the hallmark of jiyalas. Bilawal would be using modern techniques of communication as he has been advised to stay away from such gatherings due to security threats.
A splinter group of the PPP headed by Naheed Khan and Dr Safdar Abbasi is holding a separate function at a local hotel to mark the day. Hard-hitting speeches by the two leaders against the present PPP leadership are expected to be delivered on the occasion. Since the death of Benazir Bhutto, this group has been celebrating the Foundation Day by holding a separate show.