ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party yesterday vowed to save democracy as the party marked ‘black day’ to denounce the 1977 coup that toppled the PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s elected government.

Due to the coronavirus, the party did not hold any big meeting but relied mostly relied on statements to demonstrate its commitment towards democracy.

PPP Vice President Senator Sherry Rehman said July 5 was a black day in the country’s history as democracy was derailed and an elected Prime Minister was removed unconstitutionally.

“Listen to Radio Pakistan’s broadcast on the fateful morning of #5July1977. You can still hear the newscaster’s voice dip for a second as Zia Ul Haq had the script changed.

The country has never recovered from this long, dark 11-year  martial law,” she said.

Senator Sherry Rehman said the PPP was committed to democracy and will never support unconstitutional removal of any elected government.

Bilawal slams July 5 takeover, suspension of civil rights

PPP lawmaker Nafisa Shah said Pakistan had never recovered from its darkest hour when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was deposed.

“Our gradual fall into abyss is the outcome of an establishment that continues to capture people’s mandate &rule through a selected few,” she said.

Earlier, in his message PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the Constitution was suspended on July 5, 1977, wrapping the democracy, suspending all the civil rights and forbidding the process of development and hoisting the colours of the authoritarian rule in all directions.

He said that just by promoting and protecting dictator’s personal vested interests, the foundation of dictatorial rules were laid through inventing corruption and unleashing intimidation.

Dictators have been interested in petty personal gains developing hotbeds of intolerance and extremism, he added.

He said that even after four decades, the scourge of July 5, 1977 was not leaving the Pakistani nation behind.

Democracy is still in its teething stage, the ground for implementation of provincial autonomy is narrow, the poor are at the mercy of plagues and locusts, the swords of unemployment hanging over the heads of the workers, the bread of two times, justice is expensive and poor is getting poorer by each passing day, he added.

Bhutto was controversially hanged in 1979. In September 1978, Bhutto wrote from his jail cell: “More than my life is at stake. Make no mistake about it. The future of Pakistan is at stake. If I am assassinated through the gallows...there will be turmoil and turbulence, conflict and conflagration.”