Former President and co=chairman Pakistan Peoples Party Asif Ali Zardari has said that treading in the footsteps of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who rejected appeasement to save his life the Party workers today reject policy of appeasement and ‘vow to fight the forces of regression, bigotry and intolerance and not permit them foist their regressing political agenda through force’.
He said this in a message on the eve of the 35th martyrdom anniversary of party’s founder Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
“We must confront and not fear the bigots, the militants and the zealots. Only then we will be able to rebuild our lives; only then we will be able to live in dignity and honour and in peace and make progress”.
Rejecting extremism he said that in plurality lay the strength of the country and called for fighting discrimination against women, minorities and the marginalized behind the faade of religion.
Paying tributes to the founding Chairman for giving the unanimous constitution ‘that refuses to be extinguished’ Asif Ali Zardari said that the self sustaining power of the constitution was demonstrated a few years ago when it was purged of the changes made by successive dictators thereby disallowing dictatorship to take root.
Today the power and resilience of the Constitution is at play yet again as a dictator who sought to subvert it is chased and made accountable, he said.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s life was cut down in the prime of his life by those who feared him most through a macabre conspiracy hatched by some generals and judges of the time, he said.
But those very cowards, pygmies, dictators and political orphans who conspired to eliminate him fear him even more while in grave he said and recalled the words of his wife Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto ‘by signing the death sentence, the conspirators hanged themselves and were forever condemned at the bar of history’.
Zardari paid glowing tributes to the vision of Zaulfikar Ali Bhutto and recalled retrieving the territory lost in the 1971 war, bringing back over 90,000 prisoners, holding of the OIC summit that recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organisation as the sole voice of the Palestinians and signing the Simla Agreement which together with scientific and technological capability gave Pakistan the longest spell of peace despite adventurism by dictators as some of the achievements.
It was his vision to build, along with Chairman Mao, strategic relationship with China at a time when it was shunned and isolated. Pakistan today is reaping the dividend of his vision, he said.
The former President said that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto publicly lent moral and material support to Syria when it was a victim of external aggression. At the same time he also possessed the wisdom and the vision to avoid being sucked into internal civil strife of other countries, he said.
Asif Ali Zardari said that Bhutto was a conqueror of the hearts and minds of people and most ordinary people who came in direct contact with him became extraordinary- the true hall mark of a great leader. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto lifted the spirit of the people, gave them a dream and a hope and led and illumined the path of modernity and enlightenment, he said.
The former President also paid tributes to those who suffered for the cause of democracy saying that democracy, federalism and constitutionalism held the key to our survival.