GARHI KHUDA BUX - Former president and PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari alleged that the establishment has weakened ‘Jihad’ in Kashmir, a statement quite astonishing from a man who heads a party which is regarded as liberal in orientation and that has been rarely exploiting issues popular among right wing politics.

Addressing the party workers in Garhi Khuda Bux on the occasion of 7th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he said the slain PPP chairperson always stressed that jihad in Afghanistan and Kashmir should be kept separate.

Zardari said they supported establishment of military courts as these were need of the hour but they will oppose any misuse of these courts against democratic parties, scholars or journalists. Zardari expressed apprehensions that the military courts could be used to put him [Zardari] and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in jail. “We will sign the agreement of the constitution of military courts only after complete assurance,” he added.

Zardari said that militants resorted to cruelty on innocent children in Peshawar.

He again called former president and military chief Pervez Musharraf as “billa” and said that if Musharraf had taken notice of murder of Benazir Bhutto then Peshawar massacre would not have occurred.

PPP Co-Chairman ruled out differences between him and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of PPP, by saying, “These are nothing but rumours.” He said the opponents are spreading such baseless rumours to weaken PPP but party workers firmly believe in the vision of Bhutto and they stand united. He also ruled out that Makhdoom Amin Fahim had betrayed the PPP, saying that he will never do so as he was one of the most loyal party leaders.

He said since the Zia era his party had always stood against all kinds of atrocities. He said they will not get scared of terrorists and not make any distinction between so-called good Taliban and bad Taliban. “We will wage a war for the cause of protecting country’s rights due to current law and order situation emerged after the deadly attack on army-run school in Peshawar that killed 150 innocent children,” he said.

The PPP leader said his wife Benazir Bhutto had stressed that Kashmir and Afghanistan jihad were different in nature and they must not be taken as the same. He said that in the aftermath of terrorism related incidents, those with narrow vision clubbed the two jihads (Kashmir and Afghanistan) together which weakened the cause of Kashmir.

PPP chief vowed to continue his struggle for the protection of future generation for which he vowed to face all challenges. “We are nothing without Garhi Khuda Bux vision, wisdom and ideology and we are ideological students of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.” He said whosoever leads the PPP would be buried at Garhi Khuda Bux mausoleum.

On the occasion, PPP President Makhdoom Amin Fahim assured the party over his loyalty and paid rich tribute to Benazir Bhutto. He said that how could he leave Pakistan People’s Party, saying he and the party were inseparable.

Earlier, party leaders explained that due to poor health Bilawal was advised against travelling to Pakistan to attend the ceremony. Security threats were also cited as another reason for Bilawal’s unexpected absence at his mother’s death anniversary.