ISLAMABAD - Former President and Co-Chairman Pakistan Peoples Party, Asif Ali Zardarim Friday said that July 5 is a black day in national calendar, denouncing the abrogation of the constitution and takeover by dictatorship on July 5, 1977.

“July 5 is a black day in our national calendar when a dictator overthrew an elected PM and later executed him, decimated the constitution and destroyed state institutions and is a reminder to us all to strive for the protection of democracy on the one hand and to punish the dictators on the other,” said Asif Ali Zardari, in his message on July 5.

He also paid glowing tributes to the democratic ethos of the people, saying that the people of Pakistan have consistently refused to be suppressed by force and have always bounced back to seize their democratic rights from the jaws of dictators. Dictators and usurper s of people’s rights and freedoms must be punished.”

The PPP co-chairman also paid homage to the martyrs of democracy. “On this day my thoughts also go to those martyrs of democracy who suffered and sacrificed during that black period of our national history. They suffered so that the future generations may live in peace and honour,” he added.

“Let us today resolve to strive for the preservation and promotion of democracy and the rule of law so that our people continue to march onto the road of progress and prosperity with hope and opportunity for everyone,” he added.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah also termed it July 5 as a stigma on political history. He further spoke in the favour of democratic system in the country, saying the current system could be beneficial for the development of the country.