President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the best tribute to Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto is to follow in his footsteps, strengthen democracy in the country and empower the people by lifting them from hopelessness, poverty and deprivation. In a message on the 84th birth anniversary of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto on January 5, President Zardari, also the co-chairman Pakistan Peoples Party, felicitated the party workers and reiterated determination to tread on the path illumined by the founding Chairman of the Party. Paying tributes, the President said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed in dialogue and negotiations to resolve the most complexed political issues instead of force.

Zardari said Shaheed Bhutto, employing negotiations as his principle tool recovered the territory lost in 1971, brought back prisoners of war and prevented the war trials of the military officers to protect the country’s honour and name.

He mentioned the Simla Accord that brought longest spell of peace between India and Pakistan which also stands as a lasting monument to Shaheed Bhutto’s negotiating skills.

The present democratic government also believes in pursuing the model of negotiations for lasting peace and stability in the region, he added.

The President said the government also restored the 1973 Constitution through dialogue and negotiations with all political forces.

He said on this day, “our heads bow in gratitude for restoring the Constitution that was first given to the people by the Party’s founding father with the help and support of political forces of the time.”

“The Quaid-i-Awam Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto awakened the people and gave them voice which no dictatorship has been able to stifle,” he said.

Zardari said the present government is also determined not to let the dark forces of dictatorship stifle the voice of the people.

He said Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto led the fight for democracy and peoples’ emancipation from the front and even laid down his life to join the ranks of immortals.

He said Shaheed Bhutto was ‘Pakistan’s modernizer’ who left deep footprints in the sands of history.

“Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was a thinker, a friend of the poor and a fearless leader who refused to bow before any man or power other than the Almighty,” he said.

The PPP Co-Chairman asked the Party workers to rededicate themselves  to the ideals of Bhutto on this day of his birth anniversary to tell the world that Bhutto still lives in the hearts and minds of the people and, from his grave, haunts the enemies of democracy.