GARHI KHUDA BUKSH/LARKANA - Pakistan Peoples Party yesterday observed the 38th death anniversary of PPP founder-chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, holding ceremonies at his mausoleum at Garhi Khuda Bux and using the occasion to slam PML-N government.

In his address on the occasion, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said they were still waiting for court verdict in the Panama leaks case, and that his party was ready to contest elections if they are held this year.

Bilawal, on the other hand, said the PML-N and its government were only worried about the Panama case while Pakistan still stood where it did three years ago.

Besides Zardari and Bilawal, other party leaders also addressed on the occasion, paying rich tribute to ZAB and late Benazir Bhutto and criticising the PML-N government.

Also, a meeting of PPP Central Executive Committee (CEC) was held at Bhutto House in Naudero Tuesday night to pay tributes to Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (ZAB).

PPP (Shaheed Bhutto) arranged a separate programme to observe the death anniversary. The leaders and workers of the party, being led by ZAB’s daughter-in-law Ghinwa Bhutto, placed floral wreaths on the graves of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Mir Murtaza Bhutto and Mir Shahnawaz Bhutto and offered fateha.

Asif Zardari in his speech said that today masses do not even have access to water or electricity. “It is disappointing to note that price of electricity has doubled and it is not available to all the people,” he said. He promised to the party workers that the next government would be formed by the PPP.

“Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his accomplices are beating the drum of progress, but where is this progress in reality,” Bilawal questioned. They were too busy trying to figure out new ways to “save their black money”, he added.

He alleged that gas connections were still being distributed amongst the cronies of PML-N despite a countrywide ban on gas development programmes.

“They are making a fool of everyone in the country… Mian Saab, you can fool yourself, but you can’t fool the 200 million people of Pakistan.”

Zardari and Bilawal in their speeches also paid rich tribute to ZAB. Asif Zardari said that justice had never been served in the country and that atrocities had been committed against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He said the purpose of this annual gathering was to highlight the importance of the sacrifices rendered by the former prime minister for the country.

Remembering his grandfather, Bilawal said that “today marks the darkest chapter in the history of Pakistan. The leader [Zulfikar Bhutto] who defeated dictators was hanged today.”

He said that “imperialists and their cronies” had conspired to plant the seeds of religious extremism in the country 40 years ago, but the PPP’s war against religious extremism started even before and continues to this day.

Besides PPP top duo, other leaders who addressed on the occasion included PPP Secretary General Latif Khan Khosa, Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurseed Ahmed Shah, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Abdul Fateh Soomro,

They reiterated their pledge to carry forward the mission for which the Zulfikar Ali Bhutto laid down his life.

They also paid tributes to the Benazir Bhutto due to her services to achieve the rights of the downtrodden and strengthen the democratic system in the country.

The programme of the anniversary started from a Mushaira. The prominent poets from Sindh, Punjab and other parts of the country paid tributes to ZA Bhutto in poetic form.

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Sindh Additional IGP Dr Sanaullah Abbasi had established a base camp in Naudero to monitor security arrangements and he also visited public meeting area in Garhi Khuda Bux. The security arrangements were intensified with deployment of Rangers.

Peoples Doctors Forum (PDF) Larkana district, District Health Department and CMC Hospital Larkana had established free medical camps to provide medical assistance to participants.