ISLAMABAD: The 87th birth anniversary of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was celebrated in the twin cities on Monday.
Former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, ex-MPA Nargis Faiz Malik, president PPP Islamabad Sibtul Hassan Bukhari and a large number of party workers attended a gathering held at the PPP central secretariat.
Mr Ashraf cut the birth anniversary cake after which special prayer (dua) was held for the souls of Mr Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and the 150 students and teachers of Army Public School who were killed in Peshawar on December 16.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashraf said because of the Peshawar incident Mr Bhutto’s birthday was celebrated with simplicity. He said it was Mr Bhutto who gave the right of franchise to the people of Pakistan and created awareness of their rights.
“After Bhutto, his daughter Benazir Bhutto continued the struggle for democracy in Pakistan. The goal of the PPP is to ensure the development of the country and improvement in the life standard of the people.” Mr Ashraf claimed that he and the party workers were praying for the success of the army against terrorism.
The participants also paid tributes to the late Bhutto for the services he rendered for the nation.
General secretary People’s Students’ Federation (PSF) Islamabad Malik Tehseen told Dawn that because of blunders committed by some leaders the PPP suffered a lot. “Now an opportunity should be given to the youth to lead the party. At present, the PPP workers are running the affairs of the party on their own resources,” he said.
“Even on Monday, we arranged a lunch for the workers of the PSF in Aabpara, who came from different parts of the city to participate in the birth anniversary.” He said though the party performed poorly in the 2013 elections in Islamabad and Punjab, it has the potential to become a popular party once again. “We have to involve the youth in the political activities because in future they have to deal with all the affairs of the country,” he said.
In Rawalpindi, the birth anniversary of Mr Bhutto was also celebrated with simplicity. “We wanted to arrange seminars and walks to highlight Mr Bhutto’s services for the nation but the party leadership decided to celebrate the day with simplicity as the nation is still shocked over the terrorist attack on the Peshawar school,” PPP City president Amir Fida Paracha told Dawn.
More than 100 PPP workers gathered at the party office near Liaquat Bagh and held prayers for the souls of Mr Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto.
Speaking on the occasion, PPP district coordinator Raja Imran Ashraf, central executive council member Sultan Mehmood Qazi and Mr Paracha paid tributes to Mr Bhutto.
Mr Imran Ashraf said in the current situation, there was a dire need to strengthen institutions and democracy.
Mr Sultan Mehmood said the PPP raised its voice against extremism in the country and sacrificed its leadership to fight such forces. He said Mr Bhutto was committed to bringing a socio-economic change in the country and introduced land reforms and gave rights to the labourers.
Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2015