SARGODHA / BAHAWALPUR / LAHORE:
Pakistan Peoples Party workers across the province donated blood on Saturday to mark former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s 61st birthday.
In Lahore, PPP Punjab president Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo inaugurated a blood donation camp at Aiwan-i-Iqbal. PPP Lahore president Samina Khalid Ghurki and other office bearers also attended the event.
In Bahawalpur, district general secretary Muhammad Ali Hassan and information secretary Muhammad Saleem Bhatti paid tribute to Benazir Bhutto and her political legacy. They were addressing party workers who had gathered to donate blood at a camp established at Bahawal Victoria Hospital in Bahawalpur. They said the democratic setup in the country was a direct result of the sacrifice made by Benazir Bhutto. Party leader Khan Muhammad said that the PPP activists were donating blood to prove that they were the true followers of Bhutto.
A cake was also cut to mark the event. The participants also offered prayers for the victims of the Model Town incident.
In Sargodha, PPP workers held a ceremony at the residence of district senior vice president Malik Hamid Nawaz Awan. Former state minister Tasneem Ahmed Qureshi, district president Rana Hakim Khan, member federal council Nisar Razi Warriach, office bearers and several party workers participated in the event. Similar camps were set up in Gujrat, Faisalabad, Mandi Bahuddin, Sheikhupura, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Okara and Sahiwal.
Talking to The Express Tribune, analyst Wajahat Masood said that Benazir Bhutto’s life and death could guide the people of Pakistan in the war against terrorism.
“Benazir Bhutto was the most democratic of our post-independence leaders,” he said. “She steered the PPP from the pseudo socialism of 1970 to make PPP a truly democratic political party.”
While talking to The Express Tribune, journalist Munizae Jahangir said Benazir Bhutto was the only leader who foresaw the threat of extremism in 2008. “During the emergency imposed by General (r) Musharraf, Benazir Bhutto met some journalists in Lahore. Even at that time, she expressed grave concerns over the militant uprising in Swat,” she said. “In her book, Benazir carefully examines the extremist threat and looks for solutions,” she said.
Political and defence analyst Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi told The Express Tribune that Benazir Bhutto was still relevant to Pakistan. “Throughout her career, she preached political accommodation and tolerance,” Rizvi said.
Rizvi said that Bhutto’s life was the journey of a young woman who struggled hard to become a leader.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 22nd, 2014.